“It [the education system] punishes, bullies, and humiliates children. They grow up without confidence, afraid to demand their rights.”
If Education Minister Nataphol Teepsuwan had said the quote, Bad Student would applaud him for it, and the Thai education system might have a chance at reform.
Alas, it’s Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit who said it in a Clubhouse episode.
Thailand is full of horror stories on how the education system enslaves our children’s hearts and minds. Allow me to share one story.
Friday, February 19, at the Bad Student-led demonstration in front of Parliament House. I told my interns:
“See that group of students right there? Ask their permission, take their photos, get their quotes, let them speak their minds. Make sure they keep their masks on. They are underaged.”
The following is a quote from a 13-year-old girl:
“I’m here because I want to know what’s happening with the censure debate. I’m concerned about the abuse of power against the people.”
Insightful. Intelligent. Courage. Conviction. Parents and teachers, any adult should be proud that this young lady is the future of Thailand.
Three hours after we posted her photo and quote, three messages came in via Instagram, all saying the same thing:
“Please delete the photo. She’ll get into trouble with her school.”
I deleted it because she’s underaged and parents/relatives denied permission.
What we have here is a young lady with courage and conviction and a family who’s ready to strike down that courage and conviction because they are ruled by fear—the fear of punishment by the school.
When both the school and the family, the two most essential fabrics of society, tell you to just shut up or get punished, it goes back to what Thanathorn said, which I shall paraphrase:
We train our children to be slaves.