Capacity Building and Technical Assistance in Education
But the outbreak of the Korean War disrupted the progress made on rebuilding Korea’s education system. The tragedy of the war resulted in the destruction of schools and classrooms, and loss of life among many teachers who had either been killed or disappeared. After the Korean War, the education system was severely damaged, resulting in a classroom shortage. Dodge (1971) writes: “Of the 42,478 classrooms that existed before the Korean War, 10,018 were totally destroyed, 4,976 were half destroyed, and an additional 13,971 were damaged.” In other words, the nation lost the use of 70% of its classrooms. Once reconstructions efforts were restarted, the assistance focused on providing material aid at the primary and secondary level, as well as increasing investments in higher education. In early 1952, the head representative of UNESCO recommended that financial assistance be used in education after making an assessment during a visit to Korea. As such, UNESCO and UNKRA developed a five-year program for the development of Korea’s education system that provided nearly US$ 11 million dollars in education assistance under UNKRA, most of which was used to repair schools destroyed during the Korean War as seen below.
[Table 1-1] Aid to Education Sector by UNKRA: 1950-59
|Building class rooms||5,407||-||5,407 (50%)|
|Secondary education||1,262||142||1,404 (13%)|
|Higher education||2,195||325||2,502 (23%)|
|Teacher training||100||279||379 (3%)|
|Social education (including adult education)||287||114||401 (4%)|
|Textbook printing factory||514||-||514 (5%)|
|Foreign language private institute||-||164||164 (2%)|
Source: Kim, Jun-Kyung and Kim, KS. 2012. Impact of foreign aid on Korea's development. Seoul: KDI School of Public Policy and Management.