Student hunger strike

Former Bodindecha student Apiwat Sorthnanusak takes care of his schoolmate, Ekkaman Niyomrat, during their hunger strike in front of Government House yesterday. The protesting students are demanding the government look into allegations of an unfair admission system at their school. PAWAT LAOPAISARNTAKSIN

By Terry Fredrickson

The hunger strike by a group of Matthayom students who have been denied entry to the upper secondary level at their former school continued their hunger strike yesterday as the Education Minister said they were being used as a political tool.

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‘Politics’ behind hunger strike


The hunger strike by a group of Matthayom 3 students claiming irregularities in the admissions system of a Bangkok school is politically motivated, said Education Minister Suchart Thada-Thamrongvech.

Four students of Bodindecha (Sing Singhaseni) School continued their protest at Government House for a second day yesterday, calling on school management to admit all Matthayom 3 students into Matthayom 4 to further their studies at the school.

Mr Suchart said he believed the students were being used as a political tool by a certain group of people.

He instructed the Office of Basic Education Commission to lodge a police complaint against the people he believes are behind the protest.

The minister refused to name the people he suspected.

The protesting students said they finished Matthayom 3 at Bodindecha school with a GPA of over 2.0, but were not selected to continue their studies because the management had allocated some seats for new students.

The protesters said all Matthayom 3 students who wished to continue studying at the same school should be allowed to do so.

Bodindecha school principal Suwat Wiwattananon yesterday denied irregularities in the school’s admission system. He said the school has limited seats for students and the selection process was conducted with transparency.

Mr Suwat said the school would accept another 20 former students to Matthayom 4 after some admitted students declined to attend, freeing up their seats. However the students refused to call off their hunger strike.

‘‘We will continue our protest until all Matthayom 3 students can further their study at the school,’’ said Apiwat Sorthnanusak, one of the protesting students.

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    schoolmate – classmate; a person who is or was in the same class as you เพื่อนร่วมชั้นเรียน
    hunger strike – a refusal to eat by a person or group of people until a demand is met การอดอาหารประท้วง
    demand – a very firm request for something ข้อเรียกร้อง, การเรียกร้อง
    allegation – an accusation; a statement that someone has done something wrong or illegal even though this has not been proved ข้อกล่าวหา
    admission system – the system for selecting students to a school or university ระบบการรับเข้า
    irregularity – a situation in which the rules, laws, or usual ways of doing things have not been followed การปฏิบัติที่ไม่เป็นไปตามระเบียบปกติ
    motivated – done for a particular reason มีแรงจูงใจ ถูกโน้มน้าวใจ
    protest – a strong complaint or disagreement การประท้วง
    admit – to allow somebody to become a member of a school, a club or an organisation ให้สิทธิเข้าได้
    political tool – someone or something that is being used for political purposes เครื่องมือทางการเมือง
    instruct – to tell somebody to do something, especially in a formal or official way สั่ง
    lodge a complaint – to make a formal statement to someone in authority that someone has done something wrong ยื่นคำร้อง
    refuse – to say you will not do something that someone has asked you to do ปฏิเสธ
    suspected – thought to have done something wrong เป็นที่สงสัย
    select – to choose  คัดเลือก
    allocate – to officially give out an amount of or share of something แบ่งส่วน
    deny – to say that something is not true or does not exist ปฏิเสธ
    limited – not much or enough; not very great in amount or extent จำกัด
    process – a series of actions that you take in order to achieve a result แนวทางปฏิบัติ, กระบวน, วิธีการ
    conduct – to do something in an organised way; to carry out  ลงมือทำ, ดำเนิน, ปฏิบัติ
    transparency – an honest way of doing things that allows other people to know exactly what you are doing ความโปร่งใส
    decline – to say politely that you will not accept something or do something ปฏิเสธ
    call off – to decide to stop something that is already happening; to decide that something will not happen – บอกเลิก