With 144 of their members killed since 2004, teachers in the deep South are understandably frustrated and angry.
An artist satirises the southern unrest, in which monks are among targets of militants, by making a special nang talung shadow puppet. PATIPAT JANTHONG
Fed up with insecurity
Southern teachers, sick of politicians' promises on the insurgency, now want action
Boonsom: Tired of blueprints
'If I stacked up all government blueprints for ways to end the problems in the South, they would reach to my roof," said Boonsom Tongsriprai, a teacher leader in the far South.
The chairman of the Confederation of Teachers in the southern border provinces says successive governments have failed to tackle the insurgent violence in Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala.
He is angry after watching one teacher after another falling victim to the bullets of gunmen since the insurgency returned in 2004. Since then, 144 teachers have been killed and 136 injured.
They are still targets, as insurgents regard teachers as a hostile group representing Bangkok-based interests, attempting to exercise authority over the Muslim-dominated provinces.
The latest victim was Somboon Jongdoem, 57, assistant director of Kongthapbok Utis School, in Nong Chik district, Pattani. He was shot and wounded on Tuesday by a gunman on a motorcycle.
A week before, Noppadon Sasimonthon was killed in a drive-by shooting while leaving his home for Tanyongluloh School in Muang district of the same province.
What the confederation wants is simple: better protection for its members.
Mr Boonsom has led teachers to Bangkok for many meetings with government leaders and education ministers.
The confederation has also staged peaceful rallies in Bangkok and occasionally resorted to tougher measures such as temporarily refusing to teach, to send a message to those in power.
Politicians listened to their plight, promised better protection, and paid them danger money.
But Mr Boonsom said little had changed, or improved.
Security officials provide escorts for teachers. But the main concern for the confederation is teachers who make lone trips both during and after work.
Teachers are still an easy target for insurgents, as security authorities lack coordination, he said.
Each unit of soldiers and police has its own area, and they confine themselves to that zone.
In theory, all security forces come under the Internal Security Operations Command but in reality, their operations lack unity, he said.
The confederation would like security authorities to work more closely together, before the morale of teachers plunges any lower. Most of the 19,220 teachers in the three southernmost provinces come from the region, aided by part-time staff filling vacancies left by teachers who moved out for safer employment elsewhere.
"What we need is anybody in charge who truly understands the problem and knows how to solve it," Mr Boonsom said.
The confederation will not urge the government to come up with any new strategies, or impose a deadline for action.
"Six months, nine months, 10 months. I don't want to listen to those [empty promises] any more," he said.
"What we need now is a government which is serious in dealing to our problems."
satirise – to use humour to criticise a person, an idea or an institution by showing their faults or weaknesses เหน็บแนม,เสียดสี,เย้ยหยัน,เยาะเย้ย
unrest – angry or violent behaviour by people who are protesting or fighting against something สถานการณ์ที่ไม่สงบ
militants – people who use violent or forceful methods to achieve something ผู้ใช้ความรุนแรงในการโจมตี
fed up with – annoyed or bored with something that you feel you have accepted for too long เบื่อ, ผิดหวัง โดยเฉพาะกับสิ่งที่เจอมานาน
insecurity – a feeling of not being safe or protected ความไม่ปลอดภัย, ความไม่มั่นคง
sick of – bored with or annoyed about something that has been happening for a long time, and wanting it to stop เบื่อหน่าย
insurgency – an attempt by a group of people to take control of their country or the area where they live by force การจลาจล
stack – to put objects neatly on top of each other making a pile วางตั้งซ้อนกัน, กองซ้อนกัน
blueprint – a plan or design which explains how something might be achieved แผนงานที่ละเอียด
confederation – a group of organisations that are united การรวมกลุ่มกัน สหภาพ สมาพันธ์
border – the official line separating two areas, regions or countries เขตแดน อาณาเขต
successive – following immediately one after the other ต่อเนื่องกัน, ตามลำดับ
tackle – to make an organised and determined attempt to deal with a problem จัดการกับปัญหา
violence – physical force with the deliberate intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people ความรุนแรง
victim – someone who has been affected by a bad situation, such as an illness or an accident เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย
bullet – a small, metal object that is shot from a gun กระสุนปืน
injured – hurt in an accident or attack ซึ่งได้รับบาดเจ็บ
target –a person, business, building, area, etc., that someone intends to attack เป้าหมาย
regard – to consider or have an opinion about something or someone เห็นว่า,ถือว่า
hostile – behaving in a very unfriendly or threatening way towards someone ไม่เป็นมิตร, เป็นปรปักษ์, ต่อต้าน,มีเจตนาร้าย
exercise – to use your power or rights ใช้อำนาจ
authority – power อำนาจ
dominated – controlled ถูกควบคุม ถูกชักใย บงการ
wounded – injured, especially where your skin or flesh is damaged, usually seriously บาดเจ็บ
simple – easy to understand; not complicated ง่าย,ไม่ยุ่งยาก, ไม่ซับซ้อน
protection – the act of protecting somebody/something; the state of being protected การอารักขา, การปกป้อง
stage – to organise an event or activity จัด
rally – a large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something การชุมนุม
occasionally – sometimes, but not frequently or regularly บางครั้งบางคราว
resort to – to do something extreme or unpleasant in order to solve a problem ใช้มาตรการรุนแรงในการแก้ปัญหา ยุติปัญหา
measure – an action that is intended to achieve or deal with something มาตราการ
temporarily – for a limited period of time ชั่วคราว
plight – an unpleasant condition, especially a serious, sad or difficult one สภาพเลวร้าย
improve – to make better ทำให้ดีขึ้น
security – protection; systems providing for safety from attack, harm, or damage ระบบรักษาความปลอดภัย
escort – a person or a group of people who go somewhere with another person, vehicle, ship etc in order to protect them or to prevent them from escaping คนที่คุ้มครอง
concern – a worry ความกังวล
lone – single เดี่ยว หนึ่งเดียว
authorities – people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
coordination – the act of making all the people involved in a plan or activity work together in an organised way การประสานกัน
confine – to limit จำกัด
zone – an area that has an important or typical feature; an area where a particular activity is allowed or not allowed พื้นที่, บริเวณ, เขต
in theory – supposed to be true but which in fact may in fact be wrong ในภาคทฤษฎี
lack – not enough of something ขาด
unity – a situation in which people, groups, or countries join together or agree about something ความเป็นเอกภาพ, ความเป็นอันหนึ่งอันเดียวกัน
morale – the amount of confidence and enthusiasm, etc. that a person or a group has at a particular time กำลังใจ, ขวัญ
plunge – to (cause someone or something to) move or fall suddenly and often a long way forward, down or into something ลดลงอย่างเร็ว
aid – to help ช่วย
vacancy – a job that no one is doing and is therefore available for someone new to do ตำแหน่งว่าง
urge – to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น
strategy– a plan or method for achieving something, especially over a long period of time ยุทธวิธี, แผนการ
impose – to force someone to accept something กำหนด,บังคับ