Bangkok (VNA) - A recent study of Thailand’s Khon Kaen University suggests that a ‘culture of corruption’ is rife in the country’s education system, as more officials and school directors are taking advantage of their positions to appropriate state funds.

The study was conducted by Associate Professor Pornamarin Promgrid of the university in three northeastern provinces of Kalasin, Khon Kaen, and Maha Sarakham between 2017 and 2018.

The author said the acts of corruption range from the embezzling of state funds, colluding to mark up prices of educational and school construction materials, as well as demanding bribes from parents who want their children to be enrolled in a particular school.

He said the amount of money skimmed from the budgets for upgrading school facilities is a cause for concern, with about 30 percent of the total budget lost through irresponsible officials and school directors.

He noted his study is based on in-depth interviews with people who are familiar with the matter, noting that the extent of corruption is "seriously worrying".

In a separated move, Thai deputy government spokesman Werachon Sukondhapatipak said on July 7 that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha insisted his government will get tough on corrupt officials.-VNA