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School Directors in Northeastern Thailand Create Fake Students to Fraudulently Upgrade their Status

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BANGKOK – The Office of Anti-Corruption has discovered 10 more northeastern schools have been found with bogus students on their rolls, allegedly to facilitate the directors’ transfer to bigger schools where parents are willing to pay admission bribes.

Samart Chainarong, director of the Office of Anti-Corruption in Public Area 3, told the Bangkok Post that in Nakhon Ratchasima province on Monday the 10 secondary schools discovered so far were all in the lower Northeast.

The directors allegedly added “ghost students” to their rolls to fraudulently upgrade their status from small schools with up to 500 students each, to medium-sized schools with 501-1,499 students each.

This was apparently aimed at justifying the directors’ transfers to actual larger schools.

Salaries at those schools were the same but the directors seemed to be eyeing admission bribes from parents who wanted seats for their children at well-known medium- and large-sized schools, Mr Samart said. The investigating was continuing.

The extended probe followed an investigation at Kham Sakae Saeng School in Nakhon Ratchasima where its new director found a list of 196 “ghost students” suspected of being put on the roll to get more government subsidies.

The investigation is being expanded in Amnat Charoen, Buri Ram, Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Ratchasima, Si Sa Ket, Surin, Ubon Ratchathani and Yasothon provinces.

By Prasit Tangprasert