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Petition submitted to Education Ministry over Bangkok Christian College conflicts

Opec promises to investigate issues related to 'unfair' dismissals

Parents of current and former Bangkok Christian College (BCC) students are going ahead with their campaign to seek justice for the “unfair” dismissal of a former school director.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Private Education Commission (Opec) has promised to launch a fact-finding probe to sort out related issues.

In addition, the protesters submitted their petition backed by 1,500 signatures to the government complaint centre on October 29.

The petition cover page – addressed to the Education Minister from the president of the BCC Alumni Association – was posted on the Facebook page titled “SaveBCC Organisation”. This page spearheaded the movement against the alleged lack of good governance and controversy surrounding school director Supakit Jitklongsap’s dismissal.

The petition was submitted after a peaceful rally on October 28, when protesters – all clad in black – gathered in the campus to demand an explanation from the school board and executives of the Church of Christ in Thailand.

The rally was in support of Supakit and former manager Watcharapong Apinyanurangsee, who had been subjected to investigation and suspended from work in July over several charges, including a controversial land deal. Supakit was eventually “unfairly” dismissed, and Watcharapong fired, the group said.

After a meeting on October 28 between representatives of the parents and the school administrators, Opec secretary-general Athapol Truktrong said the dispute stemmed from differing views. However, he said, both sides agreed to prioritise students’ benefits and prevent impacts on their education.

The meeting was apparently found satisfactory by both sides as the agency promised to set up a fact-finding committee to investigate the new school board and how they exercised their power to see if they were just and legitimate, he said. This probe should be completed within seven days.

As for previous complaints launched by parents and alumnus for Opec to investigate, the agency requires 30 days, the newly appointed Opec secretary-general said.

In an act of “civil disobedience” to pressure the school administration, parents of 4,000 of the nearly 5,000 students in this prestigious school have stalled the payment of tuition fees for the second semester until they get an answer or until examination time.


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