May 15, 2014 00:00 By Tanatpong Kongsai
MOST SCHOOLS re-open for the new semester this week, but ongoing political rallies in the heart of Bangkok are threatening to delay the scheduled opening for many.
Wat Makutkasat primary school, which is located near a rally site of the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), has already decided to postpone the start of the new semester indefinitely.
Wat Makutkasat secondary school has also cancelled its plan to open for the first semester of the 2014 academic year tomorrow. School director Jarasrit Klinsuwan said he made this decision after finding that teachers and staff would be spending a very long time travelling to school.
“Several roads nearby are also closed to traffic,” he said.
However, he said he hoped his school could open for the new semester next Monday. “Of course, we will have to reassess the situation first,” Jarasrit added.
Kamol Rodklai, deputy secretary-general of the Office of Basic Education Commission (Obec), said most schools near the current rally sites continued conducting classes despite the protests.
“So, we trust the judgement of school executives. We only emphasise that safety must be a top priority,” he said.
Jarasrit said if the unfolding situation forced his school to suspend classes for a long time, teachers would give their students home assignments.
“We will also rely on online teaching and learning materials,” he added.
The PDRC has now set up a stage in front of the United Nations building on the Rajdamnoen Nok Avenue, in addition to its stage in the Chaeng Wattana area.
As a result, the Traffic Police Division said several roads have become impassable.
The roads closed to traffic are: Rajdamnoen Klang Avenue between the Democracy Monument and Phan Fah intersection; Rajdamnoen Nok Avenue between Phan Fah intersection and Royal Plaza; Phitsanulok Road between Nang Lerng and Wang Daeng intersections; Rama V Road between the Marble Temple and the Oratai Bridge; Krung Kasem Road between the Prachakasem and Makkhawan Rangsan intersections.
Moreover, the portion of Luk Luang Road between Dhevakam and Makkhawan Rangsan intersections, the portion of Chakkraphatdiphong Road between Chakkraphatdiphong and Wisut Kasat intersections, and the portion of the Chaeng Wattana Road between the Thailand Post headquarters and Government Complex are also off-limits to traffic.
With red-shirt demonstrators gathering on Utthayan (Aksa) Road in Nakhon Pathom, the entire road is closed to traffic as well.