According to a recent study conducted by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, parents in Thailand are facing higher expenses for school uniforms and items despite no change in tuition fees. The survey, which reached out to 1,230 participants across the country, found that parents are spending an average of 19,500 baht per child, a 5.3% increase compared to 2019. The poll also revealed that only 63% of parents reported having enough money to cover these costs, marking the lowest proportion in eight years.
The study highlights the increased economic strain faced by parents as the country attempts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. While the willingness to spend more suggests a positive outlook for the economy, Dr. Thanawat Pholvichai, President of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, cautioned that the recovery remains fragile and limited to specific groups.
In addition to the rising expenses for school uniforms, the survey also showed that parents are advocating for various education-related changes. The majority of participants are calling for free meal programs for students, the elimination of the “sticker and pin” system, the promotion of bilingual schools across all regions, and free education up to the bachelor’s degree level.
Although tuition fees remain steady at an average of 9,500 baht per child and school maintenance fees at 2,300 baht, nationwide spending is expected to surpass 57.8 billion baht, the highest figure in 14 years since the survey’s inception in 2009. This expenditure highlights the ongoing financial burden faced by parents in Thailand and underscores the need for affordable education.