Barbed wire greeted thousands of students on their first day back at school in the heart of Bangkok yesterday, the result of the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) protest that has popped up over the holiday.
Since late August, PAD supporters have been camped outside Government House, where sandbag walls, iron bar¬ricades and barbed wire are being used for protection.
Security has been beefed up in the wake of the grenade attack on PAD guards last week.
Though fears of violence linger, students of Wat Sommanas and Wat Makutkasattiyaram schools, both close to Government House, had no choice but to head to classrooms once the new semester began.
Many other schools are also affected.
Dusit District Office direc¬tor Noppadon Savikamin said relevant officials were now keeping watch over students who had to travel to schools near Government House.
'If violence erupts...'
"We are closely monitoring the situation. If violence erupts, the school directors can close the schools for three days for the safety of their stu¬dents," Noppadon said.
In a related development, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is to map rushhour vehicle density around schools in the Samsen, Sathorn and Sukhumvit areas in a bid to solve the traffic problems caused by school runs.
Bangkok governor Apirak Kosayodhin said BMA officials would also install more closedcircuit TV cameras in front of schools to ease traffic flow and make the roads safer.
The BMA sent out 1,000 officials yesterday to cope with the schoolrun traffic on the first day of the new semester, while 200 traffic police have been posted to areas with severe jams for the first week of school term.
Apirak went with traffic division chief Pol MajGeneral Veerapat Tansrisakul yesterday morning to check on a pilot scheme to ease the jams in front of Rajinibon School on Samsen Road. The governor said traffic flow had improved after the local Makro store had opened its car park to parents taking their children to the school in the morning.