The Ministry of Education has worked with teachers’ savings cooperatives and other officials across the country to resolve heavy debts, totaling around 1.4 trillion baht, incurred by around 900,000 teachers with 108 cooperatives.
According to Education Minister Treenuch Thienthong, a debt refinancing program was launched in February, under which teachers in debt can apply for a new loan with an average interest rate of 5.5 percent, repayments being deducted from their monthly wages, but leaving their take. home pay at least 30% of their salary, to ensure they have enough money to avoid further borrowing.
More than 25,800 teachers have so far registered to join the program.
During a recent meeting with representatives of teachers’ savings cooperatives in the southern province of Surat Thani, the minister informed participants of the government’s intention to alleviate the problem of teachers’ debt more practical and efficient.
Of the 108 teachers’ savings cooperatives, only 13 charge an interest rate of 5% or less, while at least 13 charge an interest rate of 7-9% per annum.
She said that cooperatives should charge a uniform interest rate, which should not exceed 5%.
The Ministry of Education and relevant officials have selected some of the cooperatives to be used as models for carrying out debt refinancing, as a means of alleviating their debt burden.
Teacher debt is a chronic problem that no government in the past has been able to address.
Prime Minister Prayut, however, has designated 2022 as the year when the government will tackle the country’s household debt problem.