It is expected that Thai parents will be grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic once again during the 2021 school year. KResearch recently conducted a survey on views of parents (who have children studying in kindergartens to high schools) towards the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic during the 2021 school year. The poll was made on a random sample of 600 persons in the Bangkok Metropolitan area. The findings are as follows:
Most of the parents (88.5 percent) are concerned and have no confidence if their children have to return to school as they view that the latest wave of COVID-19 has gotten quite worse with steadily increases in the number of daily infections. Additionally, there is the risk of COVID-19 resurgence, and there are no vaccines available for students. Meanwhile, parents residing in the maximum and strict controlled zones want educational institutions to put stringent COVID-19 prevention measures in place before the back-to-school season. However, approximately 11.5 percent of the parents, who are optimistic about the COVID-19 situation, view that the pandemic may have subsided somewhat prior to the new school year and educational institutions would have implemented stringent measures to monitor the situation.
Concurrently, more than 89.8 percent of the parents surveyed are worried about their financial liquidity that is needed for their children's educational expenses during the 2021 school year. Most of these parents are low-to middle-income earners whose family members and themselves have been adversely affected by a number of factors, resulting from murky economic conditions and the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, such as job cuts and reduction in working hours. Those who own businesses in particular have experienced disappointing sales, which has crimped their income amid rising expenditures.
KResearch, therefore, expects that parents in the Bangkok Metropolitan area may incur approximately THB26.40 billion, a contraction of 6.6 percent, in education expenses during the 2021 school year, which would represent a decline for the second consecutive year from that surveyed in 2020. The decline is due to educational institutions' policy of reducing tuition fees, though the most important factor is the fact that parents have tightened their belts to cope with their declining income. This is consistent with our poll results, which show that parents have cut their spending on certain items for their children such as school uniforms, shoes, bags and stationery.