Sunday, February 26, 2006

Thai education officials waste time on regressive policies that do nothing to further education in Thailand

Only in Thailand would a ban on gay university students actually go into effect for a full year, only to be disbanded with a lame excuse like "we used the wrong word in our regulation, it was an accident, and since it was an accident nobody's human rights were trifled with."

They let this rule run for an entire year, banning gay students from enrolling, until the school simply couldn't take the heat anymore. The technique used to deny accountability after the fact (i.e., "blame-it-on-the-paper") is as dishonest and disgraceful as it is commonly Thai. Most people would be appalled to hear a small child utter such inanity and these are two grown men in charge of one of the larger university systems in Thailand.


The Rajabhat Institute, which operates 36 Thai teacher colleges,has lifted its year-old ban on gay students, "apparently under pressure from foreign ... non-governmental organizations," reported the Bangkok Post.

But the institute simultaneously proposed a new rule banning "sexually abnormal" people. Rajabhat Council member Wanlop Piyamanotham said sexual abnormalities include copulation with inanimate objects, exposing oneself in public and deriving pleasure from sadomasochistic acts.

The earlier gay ban resulted from a misunderstanding of the nature of sexual deviance, Wanlop said.

"The institute misunderstood and used the wrong word," he said. "That's why it seems to violate human rights. The best way is to single out sexually abnormal people."

To do that, the institute will use a sexual-abnormality screening test that Wanlop claimed was developed by the World Health Organization.

"Sexual deviants are not always sexually abnormal," he said. "Sexual abnormality is worse. They can't be good teachers -- they're emotionally abnormal."

Comments on the proposed new policies can be e-mailed to Mr. Sukavich Rangsitpol, Minister for Education and Chairman of the Rajabhat Institutes Council Ministry of Education, at; and Mr. Charoon Choolarp, Secretary General of the Rajabhat Institutes Council, at Both men can be reached by fax at 011-66-2-282-9241.