Education ministry details school fees are to be refunded by private schools

A student uses hand sanitiser as she arrives at a secondary school in Bangkok on July 1, 2020, as schools reopened after being temporarily closed due to the threat of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. – Pupils in Thailand returned to school on July 1, though with strict rules to prevent fresh coronavirus outbreaks, as the kingdom pushed towards normality with the pandemic raging on beyond its borders. (Photo by Romeo GACAD / AFP)

Private schools, which provide online learning during the lockdown, must refund certain fees and charges to parents, either in cash or by credit note, said the Office of the Private Education Commission (OPEC), which is under the Education Ministry.

Schools not receiving government subsidies, such as international schools, must refund tuition fees. The schools can, however, charge administration and manage fees, for which OPEC has not set a limit.

Schools receiving government subsidies must calculate their expense per student, set by the government, and subtract the government subsidy. The balance can be charged to the parents. The schools must, however, refund expenses not incurred during the period of online learning, which can include transportation, meal and snack etc.

Thailand School COVID-19
Rows of empty benches are seen in the hall of a closed school in Bangkok on January 4, 2021, as health officials in Thailand announced on Monday 745 new Covid-19 coronavirus cases, the country’s highest daily figure since the start of the pandemic.

OPEC said that there have been requests from parents seeking a fixed percentage discount, which is something OPEC says cannot be done. The schools must, however, refund some fees to parents. OPEC suggests that the parents consult with schools, for either cash or credit note based refund.

OPEC specified items which must be refunded, including charges for items which did not occur during the online learning period. These include meal and snack fees, transportation fees, music/sports/arts tuition fees (in cases where these subjects were not taught online), and excursion fees.

OPEC also specified fees for extra activities, which schools have collected from parents but which did not take place. Schools can refund an amount they dee, appropriate. Such fees include computer/internet/ICT charges, foreign language tuition fees, laundry charges, swimming class fees, extra curricula activity, and charge relates to vocational/academic/special skills camp.


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