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Thanu Wongchinda Advocates for Heat-Safe Education in Bangkok Amid Rising Temperatures

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In the heart of Bangkok’s bustling Pathumwan district, where students navigate their way under the relentless embrace of the strong Thai sun, a pivotal advisory has been issued that could transform the traditional classroom setting. Amidst the swelter of the season, the Basic Education Commission’s secretary-general, Thanu Wongchinda, has issued a clarion call to school administrations across Thailand: put a temporary halt to onsite teaching when the mercury rises to extreme heights.

Why this sudden shift in educational protocol, you might ask? Well, it’s all in the name of safety – the safety of students and teachers alike, who are at risk of heat stroke amidst the scorching temperatures predicted to sweep across the North, Northeast, Central Plains, and the East during the first half of this month. This period coincides with the commencement of the first school term of 2024, making Thanu’s advice timely and crucial.

The directive from the commission is clear: on days when the sun decides to turn up its heat to 11, schools are to put a pause on outdoor activities, ensuring that every soul on the school grounds has access to copious amounts of drinking water. But Thanu’s guidelines don’t stop at mere hydration. Schools are urged to conduct thorough checks on their electrical infrastructure to avert any potential overheating or fire hazards. More radically, the suggestion to swap the traditional classroom setting for online classes has been floated as a viable alternative to keep the educational journey uninterrupted while prioritizing health and safety.

Furthermore, Thanu’s foresight extends to the arena of student transportation. In his guidance, he underscores the imperative of vigilant checks on school vehicles to prevent any instance where a student might inadvertently be left behind in a parked vehicle, a scenario that could have dire consequences amidst the blazing heat.

Amplifying Thanu’s concerns, climate expert Assoc Prof Seree Supratid took to Facebook to shed light on a startling projection: due to the relentless grip of global warming, Bangkok could see its hottest days soar from a mere 17 to an overwhelming 80 days annually, predominately from March to May. This statistic is not just a number but a harbinger of the pressing need to adapt our day-to-day activities, including how we approach education, in the face of an increasingly volatile climate.

As this narrative unfolds, it’s clear that the guidelines issued by the Basic Education Commission are not merely administrative directives but a call to action. They beckon us to reimagine how we navigate our daily lives, including the pursuit of education, in harmony with the rhythms of our changing planet. In the shadow of Thanu Wongchinda’s advisory and Assoc Prof Seree Supratid’s insights, the dialogue on climate resilience and safety-first education is not just necessary; it’s imperative, painting a picture of a future where learning adapts to, rather than fights against, the forces of nature.


  1. Nat K. May 5, 2024

    While the intentions behind the advisory are good, switching to online classes every time the temperature rises is just not feasible. It disrupts the learning process and could potentially widen the education gap.

    • Rachelle May 5, 2024

      I disagree, Nat. The education gap is a concern, but children’s safety is paramount. Heat strokes are serious and adapting to online learning is a part of evolving with our climate.

      • Nat K. May 5, 2024

        I see your point, Rachelle. Safety should indeed come first. My worry is about consistent access to online resources for all students. Not everyone has the luxury of stable internet or personal computers.

    • TechGuy88 May 5, 2024

      The real issue here is why our infrastructure isn’t ready for the climate reality. We shouldn’t have to choose between safety and learning. Better insulation, solar-powered AC, etc., could be solutions.

  2. GreenMom May 5, 2024

    Is no one going to talk about the root cause here? Global warming is pushing us to this point. Education on climate issues should be as crucial as adapting to the heat.

    • SkepticalReader May 5, 2024

      Global warming is a hoax. It’s just a natural cycle of the earth. We’ve had hot days before; it’s not a big deal.

      • GreenMom May 5, 2024

        It’s disheartening to read such comments when the evidence of climate change is overwhelming. It’s not about a few hot days but about a significant increase in extreme weather events.

    • EcoWarrior May 5, 2024

      Exactly, @GreenMom. And adapting our educational system is just one step. We need broad changes in policy and personal behavior to make a real impact.

  3. TeacherInBKK May 5, 2024

    As a teacher, I see firsthand the effects of heat on my students. While online classes are a good stopgap, they can’t replace the in-person experience. We need better infrastructure in our schools to deal with this.

  4. JP1990 May 5, 2024

    I think Thanu Wongchinda is onto something, but switching to online isn’t the ultimate answer. It’s more about creating resilient communities and infrastructures.

  5. ClimateNerd May 5, 2024

    The projection of 80 hottest days annually is alarming. This should be a wake-up call for not just educational institutions but all sectors to gear up for climate resilience.

    • EconomyFirst May 5, 2024

      While climate change is a concern, we can’t let it dictate every aspect of our lives. We need to balance our response with economic realities.

      • ClimateNerd May 5, 2024

        Economic growth isn’t sustainable if we don’t have a planet to live on. It’s not about dictating lives but ensuring there’s a future for the next generations.

  6. ParentCircle May 5, 2024

    Safety of children should be non-negotiable. If the experts think this is the best route, then schools and parents alike should heed the advice.

  7. BangkokYouth May 5, 2024

    It’s our future that’s at stake. Instead of arguing whether or not it’s feasible to move classes online, why aren’t we discussing more on how to fight global warming?

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