The Office of Basic Education Commission (Obec) yesterday affirmed that the agency was willing to support schools in joining marching band competitions and provide some funds - but schools asked for big budgets.
Somkiat Boonrod, assistant to the Obec chief, said that last year schools asked for Bt100 million in total but Obec could provide them only Bt47 million.
The explanation came after Satriwitthaya 2 School students posted on Facebook complaining about the delay in getting a budget from Education Ministry in order for them to join a drum line competition in the United States from March 26-April 18.
The students rallied outside Ichitan Group chairman Tan Passakornnatee’s property calling for supports, so the drinks company executive provided the team Bt3 million to cover their expenses.
Somkiat yesterday said that the school had on February 20 submitted a letter asking for a permission to join the contest and stating that the expenses would be covered by a personal budget.
He said the school later submitted an additional letter asking for Bt9.4 million to fund the team’s expenses.
Somkiat said that yesterday afternoon he signed an urgent approval for the request for Satriwitthaya 2 School’s seven teachers and 17 students to attend the competition without being considered as leave.
He said that Obec didn’t ignore the school’s budget request but was in process of acquiring a budget.
He said Obec’s own budget could partially cover the requested amount while the rest was pending the Cabinet’s approval of the central budget for 2014.
Obec secretary-general Apichart Jeerawuth had released a policy this year for the Obec Bureau of Student Activities Development to formulate a criteria to consider giving financial aid to marching band contest proposals, Somkiat said.