Since the third wave of the pandemic began in April, school gates have been closed and classes have gone online. Thousands of families have struggled to keep their children in the education system.
Reports of abuse by teachers have gone viral online as some students reported being forced to wear uniforms at home or having to ask for permission from their teachers before drinking water.
Fed up with their virtual classroom experience, Thai student activists Bad Student have called on fellow students to ditch online classes altogether to demand a better and more inclusive learning experience.
In a student-led campaign called ‘F*ck, I’m done with this online class
,” over 6,000 students nationwide have pledged to boycott their lessons this week. The campaign’s hashtag has been retweeted over 1 million times at time of publication.
The group has called for a better vaccine distribution policy and a reduction in classroom burdens for both students and teachers, such as fewer lesson hours and assignments, while schools remain closed.
Not all people have agreed with the boycott.
“This campaign isn’t a smart move. What do you expect to gain from this, it will be you [students] who suffer most,” Facebook user Natha commented on Bad Student’s post. “They [the government] won’t care if students miss a class or two. It’s you who will lose the score, and I don’t think it is practical to see everyone walk out in solidarity.”
Another commenter, Wachi Herns, expressed concern about how schools will pressure teachers instead. “Teachers already struggle hard to deliver courses. Please spare some thoughts for them. Shouldn’t online classes be the best option when schools can’t open?”
“We are all victims of the system,” Bam, a student representative from Bad Student, told BK over the phone. “The campaign isn’t aimed at the teachers, schools, or any individuals. It’s the system that we want to strike down.”
When asked about the feasibility of the campaign, Bam remained positive, encouraging everyone to recognize their collective power.
“You may think we are at the bottom of the pyramid, but when the foundation shakes, people at the top feel it. You might think it’s our [students] loss by boycotting classes, but the opposite is more likely. It’s within the government’s responsibilities to ensure everyone has access to education. When they fail to do that, it’s their loss.”