Thailand is home to many schools catering to foreign students including St Andrews International School but recently a school for hospitality was not able to get permission to accept new foreign students. According to the Office of the Private Education Commission or OPEC, the Ministry of Education did not grant the request made by the International Hotel and Airline Business School also known as I-HABS. Because of this, foreign pupils were not allowed to enrol in the hotel management course which they are offering that will last for eight months.
This news came after there were allegations that the supposed to be foreign students of the school from Nepali turned to other means in order to stay in the country. There were claims that the students are currently working in the country and living in substandard conditions as a result of the failed application.
Chalam Attham, the secretary general of Opec, said that the school was not granted by the education ministry to accept foreign students despite the fact that the institution was already registered since 1993 by the president, Siriwuth Wuthisuwanwat. The school was registered for tourism, airlines and hospitality.
Mr. Chalam added that they are now creating a committee that will investigate the matter to see if the allegations are true. This will take a number of days before they can act on any decision they will come to regarding the violation, if there is, of the school when it comes to Private School Act.
He further clarified that private schools offering non-formal courses are allowed to utilize commercial buildings when conducting classroom activities since their number of students are not that high. I-HABS fall under this category and its main goal is to help pupils acquire certain job skills. The case is just more complex with foreign students because they are required to comply with two things – a non-immigrant ED visa and approval from the education ministry granted to the school.
Many international schools such as St Andrews International School have been granted with approval before but this process is not guaranteed for every case. The government has to consider a number of factors including national security.