Thai Ministry of Education makes some changes to policy-allows short and long hair, teachers cannot punish students harshly for dress code violations

Bangkok, Thailand-

A prominent official from the Thai Ministry of Education has announced some changes to the dress code for students that has been a driver of some student driven protests against the Ministry of Education over the past several months.
Mr. Somkiat Tangkitvanich Chairman of the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), stated yesterday, November 6th, 2020, that after reviewing student complaints on the dress code which have been ongoing for several months some changes were being made.

Students, both male and female, were now allowed to have short or long hair, as long as it was kept neat, clean and professional. However, the changes fell short of allowing students to dye, perm or alter their hair. Additionally, growing beards or mustaches remained against the dress code, with Mr. Somkiat claiming it could be a distraction from studies.

Somkiat stressed that individual educational institutes or schools could place their own regulations and rules in place, however, as long as they did not conflict with any prior regulations.

Importantly, Somkiat stressed that teachers would not be allowed to take matters into their own hands in terms of physically punishing students for violating the dress code. This follows multiple complaints of teachers cutting off students hair in the classroom as punishment who allegedly did not meet the dress code.

The changes fall far short of changing uniforms, which many students have requested, or allowing students to wear whatever they wished to school, but are seen by some as an important first step that the Ministry of Education is at least willing to listen to students.

Meanwhile, a group of students who call themselves “Bad Students” opposed to the leadership and direction of the Minister of Education announced yesterday, November 6th, 2020 that they will be holding a major protest on November 21.

It is not clear when the changes made will go into effect.

Photo: The Pattaya News, a local Pattaya school

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