A quieter Khao San likely during Songkran
AFTER cabinet ministers approved April 12-16 as official Songkran holidays, the adviser to the Khao San Road operators group Sa-nga Ruangwattansakul told the media that, because of the mourning for His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Songkran activities on Khao San Road this year will be toned down a bit.
Khao San Road in Bangkok is a well-known destination among backpackers as well a popular gathering area for people who look for water-splashing activities during Thailand’s famous traditional New Year or Songkran.
Sa-nga said there will be merit-making in the morning, and the sprinkling of Luang Pu Khao San Buddha image, opening of shops and restaurants as well as water soaking activities but entertaining events such as street concerts and the Miss Songkran beauty contest will not be held.
Chairman of Khao San Road operators group Piyabut Jivaramonaikul said that the lighter activities on the road might help ease traffic congestions for those who want to come to the nearby Grand Palace to pay respects to HM the late King as well.
Although the holiday starts on April 12, banks and stock markets will be closed during April 13-16, according to the Bank of Thailand.
Top: People mill around to sprinkle a Buddha image during Songkran. Photo: Bangkok.com
Dismal O-Net test results
The Institute of Educational Testing Service (Niets) announced the nationwide O-Net test scores for Mathayom 3 (9th grade) students past Saturday only to show that the students failed all five subjects on average.
For Prathom 6 (6th grade) students, the results showed that they failed four out of five subjects on average.
The five key subjects tested in O-Net (Ordinary National Educational Test) for both Prathom 6 and Mathayom 3 are Thai language, English, mathematics, social studies and general sciences. It was meant to measure students’ basic knowledge in the subjects.
Education permanent secretary Chaipreuk Sereerak said that the average scores under 50% did not mean the quality of students had dropped. Though the scores did not fluctuate much over the past few years, it was undeniable that the gap between schools in Bangkok and the provinces as well as the gap between large and small schools remained a concern.
First inset: A chart showing the O-Net test results of both Prathom 6 and Mathayom 3 students. Image: Bangkok Post
Thai-Belgian bridge burner caught
A 31 years old homeless windscreen washer Samran Muangkhiaw, aka Ek Lock1, was caught near Thanyaburi Welfare Centre for Homeless Men in Pathum Thani on Thursday March 23 evening, suspected of starting the Thai-Belgian bridge fire that caused its closure, repair and traffic congestion.
Mr Samran allegedly confessed he was smoking a discarded cigarette butt he found, and afterwards dropped it on some leaves near garbage bins stored under the bridge. He then left the area, heading to Saladaeng intersection near Lumpini park where his friends were sleeping.
On the way, he looked back and saw black smoke coming from beneath the bridge. He was so scared he ran away.
The police said the suspect is thought to be windscreen cleaning gang leader offering service to motorists at traffic lights at the nearby Henri Dunant and Witthayu intersections.
Second inset: Suspect in the Thai-Belgian bridge fire Samran Muangkhiaw talking to the Press. Photo: Bangkok Post – Krit Phromsaka Na Sakolnakorn
More summer thunderstorms
Meteorology Department said in its warning on Thursday that we can expect outbreak of summer thunderstorms in the North, Northeast, Central and East of Thailand between March 31 – April 4. That’s when another high pressure from China will extend to cover upper Thailand and the South China Sea. Some areas can have gusty wind and hail, followed by temperature dropping.
During April 1-2, more summer thunderstorms will hit the North, Northeast, East, and Central regions including Bangkok and its vicinity.
Readers of Thairesidents.com please be prepared for weather changes and stay safe indoors.
Below: A weather chart showing swings over the next few days. Image: www.tmd.go.th
By Piboon Awasdaruharote