Schools in Thailand, which resumed on July 1st, are facing the economic repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic to parents and students who are below the median of living.
The coronavirus had delayed the opening of schools this year by almost two months. However, the pandemic had affected not only the academic stature of the nation but also the woes of families profoundly affected by the virus-induced economic fallout.
In Chumphon province, a mother and her daughter were caught shoplifting by a stores’ security personnel.
The mother of four and her eight-year-old daughter was caught taking school uniforms from the store, with no intention of paying for it.
She and her daughter were taken back into the store’s office, where the security staff detained them.
When asked by the police on what her motive was, the mother replied that she had no other way as her family was experiencing economic hardships due to the pandemic.
She had no other option, but to steal, just to clothe her daughter for the resumption of Thailand’s school term.
The mother and her husband were among the many Thais laid off at the height of the pandemic.
She told the police that her family was poor, which was exacerbated by the covid-19 situation.
The mother told that she would shoplift, to provide her children’s school uniform rather than let them go to school in plain clothes. The remorseful mother said:
“That would’ve embarrassed my children.”
The store’s shoppers noticed the commotion and decided to help them by scraping together 1,200 baht to pay for the uniforms.
The store’s personnel eventually released the mother and daughter without filing charges against them.
When the director of the Homeless and Destitute Centre in Chumphon, Suchart Saengklud, heard of the incident, he immediately visited the aggrieved family who live in a shanty house in the middle of a rubber farm.
According to the family, their four children – all in primary school – attend a school 10 kilometers away from the house.
When asked by the Homeless and Destitute official, the family said:
“We were down to our last 300 baht, and we felt we had no choice but to do what we did.”
The Chumphon family are among the many Thais financially damaged by the pandemic.
Source: Bangkok Post