Minister questions Mahasarakham University if it protects its student intern enough after exposing corruption

The deputy minister for education yesterday questioned the role of the Mahasarakham University in protecting a university student intern after she exposed in public corruption at the Khon Kaen Centre for the Destitute, but was later ordered to apologize a wrongdoer at the centre by her thesis supervisor, who is a lecturer at the university.

The student intern, Ms Panida Yospanya alias Nong Bam, was also reported to be slapped on the shoulder by her supervisor who gave instructions to interns in receiving training at the centre as part of their thesis doing.

Prof Dr Udom Kachintorn, the education deputy minister, said yesterday (Mar 14) he has received unofficial report of the case by the High Education Commission’s secretary-general Dr Supatra Champathong that the fact finding committee appointed by the Mahasarakham University has found that the supervisor did slap on the shoulder of the student intern and forced her to apologize officials at the centre for the exposure.

The supervisor earlier came out to defend herself after Nong Bam said she was threatened and slapped on the shoulder with force after she exposed irregularities at the centre she was receiving training.

She said she did it in a lenient way as a gesture of comforting the intern, and denied she did slap the intern with force.

Prof Udom said the committee concluded that the supervisor was guilty and has proposed the university board to appoint an ethical committee to consider penalties.

But Prof Udom said he remained doubtful as the university board remained silent and did nothing to protect the student intern.

Instead the lecturer remained the intern’s thesis supervisor as she only asked the student intern to change training place to continue doing her thesis, he said.

In such case, he questioned if the university has done enough to protect the student intern.

He said he has ordered the High Education Commission to look into these issues.

He said the ministry’s executives have agreed that what the students intern did was admirable as it was an interest to the country.

As we’re in academic institutions, we have to protect her, and admire her, he said.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)