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Print this pageTHAILAND: Schoolchildren welcome the opportunity to let their hair down, literally




Bangkok Post

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News release


The Ministry of Education has said it will abolish the regulation at all public schools that boys have to sport a crew cut no longer than five centimetres, while girls have to wear bobs that should not go past the neckline.

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[11 January 2013] - Schoolboys and girls have welcomed the education minister's order to all schools to abolish strict limits on the length of students' hair.

Phongthep Thepkanchana issued the order on Wednesday after receiving a number of complaints from students who complained they are punished in school for having long hair.

Their schools, however, say the length of their hair violates a 1972 ministerial regulation.

The 1972 regulation requires all schoolboys to wear crew cuts no longer than five centimetres and female students to have hair no longer than the base of their neck.

However, the Education Ministry issued a second ministerial regulation in 1975 allowing students to have longer hair, but stipulating that it must look tidy. 

Mr Phongthep ordered all schools to treat their students the same under the 1975 ministerial regulation, saying schools should allow male students to have long hair that looks neat and clean-cut while female students can choose to have short or long hair.

The Bangkok Post interviewed some students in the capital and found they were happy with Mr Phongthep's order.

Kiettisak Chu-in, a Mathayom 1 (Grade 7) student of Matthayom Wat Makut Kasattriyaram School, said he and his classmates were very pleased that the school would now allow them to sport longer hair.

"We have had crew cuts since we were in primary school. Now we don't need to have our hair cut every month," Kiettisak said.

Kiettisak agreed with the minister's order, saying hair length and style are not actually related to educational performance.

"Every student can succeed academically because of the effort they put into their studies," he said.

Chollada Sukjitmalee, a Mathayom 5 student at Satriwittaya School, said she was also glad that her school would let students have longer hair.

Chollada said her school does not allow all students to have long hair at present.

"Having long hair makes me feel free. As soon as my school announces that it is ready to obey the education minister's order, I will let my hair grow long. But when I go to school I will tie my hair tidily," she said.

Alongkorn Niyakit, deputy director of Matthayom Wat Makut Kasattriyaram School, said he received the order and would comply with it even though he personally disagreed with it.

Mr Alongkorn said the 1972 ministerial regulation is a good rule because the crew cuts make students look tidy and differentiates them from adults. 


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Bangkok Post

Last updated 14/01/2013 16:41:19

Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.

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