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June 20, 2013

Republic of Korea | Education

Instability for English instructors in Korea

Teaching-English-in-KoreaThe Hankyoreh today reports on opposition to the Korean government's policy of putting English conversation teachers on rolling 4-year contracts rather than permanent positions.

Four middle-aged women wearing funeral clothes stood in front of the Central Government Complex in Seoul at around 11am on June 19.

"The government’s inconsistent education policies have left all the powerless irregular workers out of jobs," they declared. The women, English conversation instructors for elementary and middle school classes, called for indefinite contracts. Ko Sun-gyung, who heads the Association for Professional English Conversation Instructors, blasted the Ministry of Education for "sending out an announcement to make it appear that this was lifetime employment, only to turn around and later backpedal."

"We’ve been trying to help advance public education by teaching English to children in farming and fishing villages who don’t have access to private education," she said.

"Now, 6,100 English teachers have ended up being cast aside like old shoes."

Read the full story from The Hankyoreh.

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