Connect to share and comment

Southeast Asia, explained

Thailand: legalized bribery in schools?

Education minister proposes legalizing "donations"
Thai education bribery 2012 02 14Enlarge
Thai students raise their arms during a campaign for the International day for the Eradication of Poverty in front of the United Nations headquarters in Bangkok, 17 October 2007. (PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL/AFP/Getty Images)

How do you eradicate the scourge of parents forking over cash to schools to buy better treatment for their kids?

Legalize it.

That's how Thailand's education minister, Suchart Tadathamrongvej, hopes to do it at least.

Under a pending policy, any school that feels underfunded by the nation's education ministry, he said, could feel free to amass "donations" -- not bribes -- from generous parents.

Schools could even "call for donations from parents and open separate classrooms for their children," said Suchart, according to The Nation. The minister has previously proclaimed that these donations -- not bribes! -- will "reduce government burden," the Bangkok Post reports.