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Thailand’s Leap Towards Safer School Journeys: TCC and Education Ministry’s Groundbreaking Initiatives

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Imagine a world where the journey to school is just as enlightening as the lessons learned within its walls. This is a vision that the Thailand Consumers Council (TCC) is ardently working towards, bringing to the fore pressing concerns over the safety of school buses across the nation. On a fateful meeting on April 23 with none other than Education Minister Pol Gen Permpoon Chidchob, Saree Aongsomwang, the secretary-general of the TCC, initiated a pivotal dialogue aiming for a leap in consumer protection, especially for our youngest scholars.

In recent years, an unsettling trend has emerged – a climbing number of road accidents involving school buses, casting shadows on what should be a safe passage for students exercising their basic right to safety. Ms. Saree’s message was loud and clear: the safety of school bus systems cannot be sidelined. The TCC is not just raising a concern; it is sounding a clarion call for the Education Ministry to prioritize school bus management, ensuring regular assessments and holding those who fall short of standards accountable.

The conversation took a hopeful turn as the TCC proposed innovative solutions. Imagine learning centres dedicated to school bus safety, bustling with workshops for school personnel, parents, and even state agencies, all united by a single mission – safeguarding our children. The ambition doesn’t stop there. With the Thai Health Promotion Foundation by its side, the TCC is sketching the outlines of a public transport development plan that promises to introduce school bus safety management and learning centres into the heart of 20 pioneering schools nationwide. Pol Gen Permpoon’s response? A resounding agreement, underscoring the necessity of legal registration for school buses.

This push for improvement finds its roots in a disturbing reality. January alone bore witness to six harrowing incidents involving school buses, leaving 51 injured, one child tragically amputated, and another life lost. This grim tally represented a staggering 20% of all reported incidents in 2022, amplifying the urgency of the TCC’s mission. Kongsak Chuenkrailat, the vigilant assistant secretary of the TCC’s subcommittee on transport and vehicles, unveiled a shocking figure: over 45,000 individuals driving school buses without permits, a glaring loophole in the safety of our children.

Amidst these challenges shines a beacon of hope from the tranquil province of Chiang Rai. Anuchar Sethasathien, the subcommittee’s chairman, showcased a sterling example of what cohesive action can achieve. Here, a symphony of collaboration resonates, as school bus business operators, the provincial transport office, and academics converge. Engineers have crafted safety criteria, laying down the law for compliance with the Department of Land Transport’s standards. Yet, this model not only anchors its strength in regulations but also underscores the critical role of schools in bolstering safety, proving that when a community comes together, the road ahead can indeed be safer for our children.

As the TCC’s efforts unfurl, they beckon us to envision a future where the journey to school is not a precarious scramble but a safe passage guarded by the collective will of a society committed to its children’s welfare. This is a journey worth undertaking, not just for the safety it promises but for the message it sends – that every child’s right to safety is a mission that transcends the confines of a classroom, echoing far and wide across the heart of a nation united for its future.


  1. SophiaL May 3, 2024

    It’s refreshing to see a focus on the safety of school journeys. It’s a reminder that education isn’t just about what happens inside the classroom but also about ensuring students arrive safely. Kudos to the TCC!

    • MaxPower54 May 3, 2024

      Absolutely! The physical safety of students should be just as much a priority as their academic learning. It’s great to see actionable steps being taken.

      • SophiaL May 3, 2024

        Agreed, Max! It’s about time these issues are brought to light and addressed directly. It’s not just the responsibility of schools but the entire community.

    • EcoWarrior May 3, 2024

      While I support this, I wonder how eco-friendly these new school buses will be. Our children’s safety is paramount, but so is protecting the environment they’re growing up in.

      • GreenTechie May 3, 2024

        That’s a valid point. I hope the plans include considerations for reducing emissions and perhaps the use of electric buses.

  2. Larry D May 3, 2024

    Why aren’t there more stringent laws in place to prevent unlicensed individuals from driving school buses in the first place? This seems like a no-brainer step to me.

    • PolicyWonk May 3, 2024

      It’s a complex issue. Enforcement is tough in areas with limited resources. Plus, there’s the need for extensive training and awareness programs.

      • Larry D May 3, 2024

        Well, it’s about time they figure it out. No child should be at risk just trying to get an education.

  3. TeacherTina May 3, 2024

    As an educator, I can’t stress enough how important this initiative is. We’ve seen firsthand the effects of road incidents on families. It’s heartbreaking and preventable.

    • ConcernedParent May 3, 2024

      This hit home for me. The thought of anything happening to my kids on their way to school is terrifying. I’m all in for any initiative that makes their journey safer.

      • TeacherTina May 3, 2024

        I completely understand your concern. It’s a collective effort from parents, educators, and the government to ensure our kids’ safety.

  4. Realist_Ray May 3, 2024

    All these initiatives sound good on paper, but I’m skeptical about the actual implementation. We’ve seen plenty of good plans fall apart when it comes to real-world application.

    • OptimisticOllie May 3, 2024

      It’s important to stay positive and give these initiatives a chance. Change takes time and persistence. Skepticism doesn’t help progress.

      • Realist_Ray May 3, 2024

        Optimism is fine, but we need to hold these programs accountable and ensure they live up to their promises. Hope alone won’t make our kids safer.

  5. grower134 May 3, 2024

    Has anyone considered the extra cost these programs will introduce? Who’s footing the bill for these safety upgrades and training? Taxpayers, I presume?

    • FiscalWatcher May 3, 2024

      Good point. I’m all for safety, but there needs to be transparency about the costs involved and how they will be managed without overburdening taxpayers.

      • EduAdvocate May 3, 2024

        Investing in our children’s safety is not a burden; it’s a necessity. I’d rather pay more in taxes and know kids are safe than skimp and risk their lives.

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