Many students flunk Thai test – Southern TAO office raided

Grade 6 students’ poor Thai

THIS is the first academic year that O-Net test has 20% of total marks depended on a written portion in Thai and many grade 6 students were found failing the portion according to the National Institute of Education Testing Service (NIETS).

NIETS director Sampan Panpruk said NIETS found that many Grade 6 students couldn’t use proper and formal Thai in their writings. Common mistakes include misspelling, slang, informal language and regional dialects.

He said that the regional dialects’ value is equal to standard Thai but it’s important to be able to use standard Thai language in academic writing.

Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin seemed not surprised since the students had never sat a written exam before plus they were influenced by online informal language. “If we look on the bright side, the exam reflects where the problems are. Therefore, we now know where to fix them,” Dr Teerakiat said.


Top: Young grade 6 students sitting for written  Thai language exam. Photo:Ch7.jpg

Audacious raid in the South

Saturday February 25 in Narathiwat, the office of Tambon Administration Orgarnisation (TAO) in Tak Bai district was raided by seven armed men in military-like uniforms that night. They tied up 3 employees, set fires to parts of office building, burned an emergency rescue vehicle, stole a pick-up truck.

Militant raid in Narathiwat, home-made bombThe 3 employees are TAO janitor Sakariya Awae, members of the TAO’s rescue team Muhamad Hassa Kajae, 35, and Abdulloh Cheha, 31. They all were tied up with nylon rope and blindfolded. Mr Sakariya was the first to free himself and reported to tambon Khosit kamnan Pitak Salamae who then informed the Tak Bai police. Checkpoints were set up to intercept the stolen vehicle, a Mitsubishi Triton pick-up truck, in fear that it would be used as a car bomb but they couldn’t find the vehicle.

Sunday morning, Pol Col Pacharapol Na Nakorn led the Tak Bai police chief, bomb disposal and forensic police to TAO office of tambon Khosit to investigate. At around 10 a.m., the stolen truck was found abandoned near Ban Khok Saya in tambon Paluri of Sungai Padi district. It was also near Rangers Company 1806 outpost.

The rangers found the truck was already installed with a home-made bomb. An EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) unit was called and later successfully rendered safe the bomb. Police believed the militants planned to use the car bomb in Sungai Kolok but abandoned the truck after seeing the rangers’ security checkpoint.


First inset: Left, the abandoned stolen truck, and right, the home-made bomb found within it. Photo:

AOT defends eviction of Uber cars

Recently, Uber taxi drivers as well started to get barred from offering service, were fined, had their ID recorded and told to leave the premises of country’s major airports by airport officials.

Airports of Thailand sign barring Uber vehiclesAOT (Airports of Thailand) on Sunday defended its eviction of Uber drivers from Suvarnabhumi airport after mixed commuters’ uproars. Suvarnabhumi airport director Sirote Duangrat said the drivers were barred because their vehicle were illegal and breached the Land Transport Act.

Those who prefer new alternatives like the California-based Uber, Malaysia-based Grab Taxi and Brazil-based Easy Taxi gave their online social media comments that these drivers provide better service, have better manners aside from their integrity, reliability and the convenience they provide among other factors. Others said they should abide by the law and get themselves registered legally and the airport has every right to prohibit them.

Mr Sirote said that once the drivers and vehicles of these kind of services were certified by the Department of Land Transport and had submitted a formal request to operate at the airport, they would be allowed collect passengers.


Top: An Airports of Thailand sign barring Uber drivers from its airports. Photo:

Loose tunnel rock kills 2 geologists

Chiang Mai – At about 7 a.m. on March 2 while two Italian-Thai geologists were carrying out their ‘inspection following a blast’ which was part of common blasting safety regulations, a large loosen rock fell on them causing their sudden tragic deaths. 

Collasped tunnel in Chiang MaiBodies of Prathomporn Siriwat and Pratchawat Wasu-anan, both 24 from Chiang Mai, were sent to Mae Tang Hospital in Mae Tang district.

The incident was in a side tunnel, part of a 11.5 billion baht, 23-kilometre Mae Ngad-Mae Kuang Water-Diverting Tunnel project which is supposed to be finished in 2021. The said part of the project in Tambon Mae Horphra is now sealed for investigation.

A construction expert from the project’s advisory company Noppadol Pianwet explained during a press conference on Thursday that the two geologists were sent to conduct an inspection at the section of tunnel, supported by cement and bracing equipment, after a controlled blast for a further tunnel drilling process but a large rock, measuring about three-meters by one-meter, fell on them.


Top: The part of the now-sealed tunnel where a loose rock killed two geologists. Photo: :

By Piboon Awasdaruharote


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