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Date: 1/22/99

Publication: The Nation

Section: Politics

Teachers warned over recruiting

THE Non-formal Education Department has warned its teaching staff not to act as recruiting agents for the embattled Wat Dhammakaya.

Many teaching staff at schools supervised by NFED have been recruiting followers for the temple, NFED deputy director-general Kla Somtrakoon said yesterday.

It is alleged that at some schools, students were told that joining the temple's meditation or other religious programmes would be crucial to their grades at the end of the semester, Kla said.

Recruiting is against the NFED rules, he said.

Teaching staff, particularly hourly wage earners, will risk being fired if they disobeyed the rules, he said.

Kla said the number of students joining the temple has dwindled by 60-70 per cent in outlying provinces such as Pathumthani, Nonthaburi, Ayuthaya and Ang Thong.

Meanwhile, deputy permanent secretary for education Suwat Ngoencham said yesterday that Education Ministry officials will meet today to wrap up information about the temple's indoctrination.

The Nation

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