Thai students went on strike Monday to protest against having to learn online from home on their first day back at school in a campaign led by prominent pro-democracy youth movement Bad Student.
With the slogan and hashtag #ไม่เรียนออนไลน์แล้วอิสัส (no more online learning, you animals), netizens and young people throughout the country protested against the disruption that online learning and COVID-19 have caused to their mental health and well-being, as well as their academic achievements.
“Would you please take care and responsibility for the kids’ mental health?” the campaign wrote. “We skip our lessons to teach you one,” another slogan of the movement said.
The Bad Student movement launched the campaign Monday morning on their Facebook page and website, inviting students across the country to strike and join the petition for the next five days (September 6 – 10), the first week of the school term.
“We have now officially launched!” the Bad Student group posted on Facebook at 9.40am on Monday morning. “For the next five days, our website will have real-count updates on all the signatures of absentees and those participating in the strike to increase our forces and pressure those in power to meet our demands.”
“Whoever has already stopped studying, please come and count your names in.
As of the time of writing, the petition has been signed 3,122 times, leading with 133 students from St. Joseph Thiphawan School in Samut Prakan. The hashtag #ไม่เรียนออนไลน์แล้วอิสัส has also been Tweeted over 913,000 times.
Ever since the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic hit earlier in April of this year, educational institutions of all levels throughout Thailand have had to close down and convert to online teaching.
The phenomenon has not only disrupted quality teaching and students’ daily life, but has lacked preparation, technological resources, and accessibility. Tuition fees have reportedly been reduced by only 5 – 10 per cent.