One anonymous university fresher who lives in Namyangju, Gyeonggi Province is teaching elementary school students at an academy. However, she is a “ghost instructor” who is not registered as a formal instructor and did not sign an employment contract. On the street lined with private education institutes, instructors are working as ghost instructor since it is illegal to teach until one is at least a junior in college. According to the law regulating the establishment and management of academy and tutoring services, only vocational college graduates and university juniors and above are qualified to be instructors.
However, qualifications needed to be an instructor may be changed in the future. On July 26, the Education Ministry announced a revision of the academy law to solve this ghost instructor problem. If the law is enacted, freshers, sophomores, and even university dropouts will be eligible to work as instructors legally. The purpose of this law revision is to ensure the freedom of choice in pursuing a job, while broadening the amount of choices and removing discriminatory criteria.
<Instructor Qualification Standard of School Curriculum tutoring institute>
PRESENT: Vocational university graduate or people who have completed two years or more at a credited university.
REVISIED BILL: A person who is enrolled in or had been enrolled in any university
A member of legislature Sin Chang-hyeon, who announced this academy law revision as representative, announced other reasons of the law’s revision. He said in the case of freshers and sophomores, they have enough knowledge and ability as an instructor for teaching, as only a short time passed since they finished taking their College Scholastic Ability Tests (CSAT). According to a Catholic University Forum (CUF) survey given to test-takers representing the community, 58% of high school students also agree with law’s revision. The CUF surveyed students from September 13 to 18, and high school students responded. Among them, 18 students answered that a knowledge gap does not exist and 14 students answered that gap is small between freshers and juniors.
< Do you think knowledge gap to teach students is exist to between freshers and juniors?>
On the other hand, the World Free from Worries about Private Education, an association of an education citizen, which has more than 6,000 subscribers, criticizes the government for producing a policy that can expand private education markets. Jeon Gyeong-won who is the True Education researcher director of the Korean Teachers and Educational Workers' Union said this action is against to government’s policies which are reducing private education expenses. Also, Sin So-yeong senior researcher of this association said it is a natural outcome if the supply of teachers expands, the private education market will also expand. She pointed out that the government encourages young people to start their first society experience in the private education market.
In response to this worrisome situation, the Ministry of Education posted their concerns on the NAVER official blog. They said some city and provincial education offices are concerned about the deterioration of the quality of academy teaching and have submitted their opinion that the protection of the right to study which guarantees quality teaching should be consider first. They announced that they will carefully push the revisions of the academy act, reflecting various opinions from municipal and provincial education offices, education organizations, and civic groups collected during the period announcing the upcoming legislation.
As a result, the law is still not decided. CUF inquired at the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education call center and they answered no changes to the law will be fixed until after September 4, which is the last day of the announcement of the legislation period. The Education Ministry uploaded comments in opposition to the proposed changes. Many of the comments indicate that it remains unclear whether the law’s revision will really expands private education, as freshers and sophomores are already working as instructors at many private academies