The Office of Basic Education Commission (Obec) has instructed all schools to permit their students to wear casual outfits to school on the first day of the 2nd term.
Obec secretary-general Amporn Pinasa said students should be allowed to wear casual attire on their first day back, as students going to school to study is the best thing that could happen to society.
However, Mr Pinasa said that school dress codes will still apply, and each school will be required to inform parents of their respective dress codes.
The move was announced after “Bad Students”, a group of students pushing for education reforms, called on students to wear casual outfits on the first day of the new school term, as part of a wider civil disobedience campaign.
“Bad Students” also supports the three demands sought by anti-government protesters: the removal of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, a new constitution and reforms to the monarchy, as well as reforms to the education system. Their latest rally took place on 21st November beneath the Siam BTS skytrain station.
The group is known to have members in many schools, including Samsenwittayalai, Triam Udom Suksa, Suankularb Wittayalai Rangsit, Benjamarachalai, Chonratsadorn Umrung, Horwang and Khon Kaen Wittayayon schools.
Mr Pinasa said that Obec believes the Education Ministry’s regulation on student uniforms does not constitute a violation of student rights.
Instead, he said, compliance with such regulations will help students develop discipline, so they can be responsible for themselves and in society.
“If the students insist on wearing casual outfits to school, a committee will be set up to consider this matter,” said the secretary-general, adding the Education Ministry has already begun reviewing the school uniform rule.
The director of Samsen Wittayalai School in Bangkok, Bunyaphon Phothiwatthanat, said students have the right to express themselves, but schools under the Education Ministry are bound by its rules.
“If students wear casual outfits to school, we may talk to them, but won’t reprimand them,” he said.