February 01, 2008
|Despite the controversy over the plan to teach all English classes in the public schools completely in English by 2010, President-elect Lee Myung-bak said the opposition just needs to be persuaded.
“I don’t think it is right to make this into a political issue,” Lee said at a meeting of the transition committee’s education team yesterday. “Although we cannot do anything about those who are protesting against the plan just because they want to protest, we have to persuade those who are opposed to it that they just misunderstand it.”
Lee said ethnic Koreans living in other countries would be willing to volunteer for a year as assistant teachers. “I think many people will apply for the English teaching positions,” Lee said.
The committee announced on Wednesday it would hire 23,000 English teachers at elementary, middle and high schools between 2010 and 2013.
The Korea Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union held a news conference yesterday to oppose the plan, saying it will ruin public education.
“The committee’s educational policy is completely dismantling the current egalitarian education system and accelerating the educational divide between the haves and the have-nots,” the union said in a press release. “The poor will be poorer and the amount of money spent on private education will double.”By Kim Soe-jung Staff Reporter [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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