Teachers at Assumption College (AC) have been wearing black lately in protest against a move requiring them to sign resignation letters as part of the college's plan to merge its primary and secondary sections.
AC Parents & Teachers Association chairman Prof Dr Kua Wongboonsin, who is also a vice president at Chulalongkorn University, yesterday said teachers were aware that if they signed their names they would be facing huge risks.
“Some have been teaching at the school for a long time, well before the 1999 Education Act took effect. If they stop teaching now, they may not be able to work as teachers again because the Act requires teachers to have a teaching licence,” Kua said. The Act is not retroactive.
He said AC did not issue any clear-cut policies towards teachers when it announced its merger plan.
The AC Secondary Section is located on Soi Charoenkrung 40. It is widely known as Assumption Bang Rak, a famous boys-only secondary school.
The AC Primary Section is located on Soi Saint Louis.
Kua said he would raise teachers’ grievance at the association’s next meeting on January 17. The AC’s director will also attend.
“I also plan to ask for the help of the Office of Private Education Commission deputy secretary-general Chanwit Tapsuwan,” Kua added.
On its website, AC announced it had no policy to force teachers to resign.
The announcement said AC would continue to conduct classes for primary and secondary education and thus would still need the current teachers.
“Teachers will be well taken care of. They will be entitled to the same benefits as before. Their years of service will be counted without any disruption, even after the merger takes place,” the announcement said.
Kua said even with evidence in writing, teachers would still have concerns because the St Gabriel Foundation’s written promise to raise their monthly pay to at least Bt15,000 had not materialised.
The adjustment was expected when the government enforced the policy to give civil servants with a bachelor’s degree at least Bt15,000 per month.
“The foundation has issued a statement saying that educational personnel will receive at least Bt15,000 a month. Later, it explained that ‘educational personnel’ did not cover teachers,” Kua said.
The foundation has 14 schools including AC under its supervision. On its website, AC called on parents, students and alumni to be wary about any negative information they receive about the school.
“Don’t believe in false news that has been spread around to damage AC’s reputation,” the college’ announcement said.