Aggressive recruitment strategies by state schools in Thailand are forcing many private schools out of business, it has been claimed. Private Education Commissioner Nattawut Parapob recently told The Nation that private schools in Thailand have never had it so tough when it comes to student recruitment.
“I have learned that several private schools have now gone out of business,” Commissioner Nattawut said. He said things are so bad that some private schools are even offering cash incentives to students who enrol. Commissioner Nattawut has called on the government to provide a level playing field for both state and private schools regarding the recruitment of students.
He added that there was also no reason for state schools that have less than 10 Mathayom 1 students to continue operating. Nattawut said the Office of Vocational Education Commission’s policy to recruit students for pre-vocational education – which is equivalent to Mathayom 1 to 3 levels – had also dealt a heavy blow to private schools.
“These schools also poach students from private institutions,” he said. Meanwhile, an informed source told The Nation state vocational colleges were known to have approached students from private schools even before they completed their Mathayom 3. “They offer scholarships just to ensure that the students will opt for the state school,” the source said. Currently, the government offers subsidies to both private and state schools based on the number of students enrolled – the higher the number of enrolled students, the higher the subsidy.