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New survey finds over 55% of Thai school children say they’ve been hit by a teacher

Just one of the findings in an independent survey of nearly 3,000 high-school students. 

By Joseph Lam | Mar 14, 2016

  • New survey finds over 55% of Thai school children say they’ve been hit by a teacher
    Credit: Wikipedia Commons

In a survey of almost 3,000 school children from both private (22 percent) and public schools (78 percent), an incredible 55 percent said that a teacher has hit them within the last year.

This was just one of a number of shocking findings in the survey conducted by Sprouts Schools, a not-for-profit organization which works as a think-tank for Thai education.

Elsewhere in the survey, 52 percent said their teacher offered to trade grades for special favors. The most common “special favor” was to be the “teacher’s pet” (37 percent), followed by “do teacher’s personal work” (25 percent, including one student who said he was recruited to paint his teacher’s house), “give money” (6 percent), and “offer sex” (2 percent).

“I was so surprised the numbers would be that high,” said Kamolnalin Kamonalvin, project manager of Sprouts. “But what surprised me the most was the response when we posted the results online. Commenters actually said that it’s not surprising teachers hit pupils and that it’s OK—that’s how Thai teachers are meant to teach. This was coming mostly from high school students!”

A total of 2,919 students took the survey across the country in Jan-Feb this year. Ninety-four percent were aged between 12-17, while 70 percent of respondents were female.

Here are some of the other findings:

  • 68% like to go to school

  • 57% are sure there is corruption at their schools

  • 35% say teachers scold them for asking questions

  • 30% say their English teacher does not make them practice speaking

  • 38% say their math teacher offers private tutoring after class

  • 21% say they hire others to do their homework

Sprouts Schools is a not-for-profit, independently funded organization established in 2014. It aims to build an online school that will allow children to post work which can then be reviewed by their peers. For more information or to download the full report visit sproutschools.com.

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