Sub-Theme 4 | Implications for Other Countries
The critical factor of Korean teacher policy lies in the personnel status of teachers as public officials, of whom the government must control the numbers, remuneration, discipline, and promotion. In addition, the purpose-oriented closed training system of prospective teachers has consolidated a unique culture of the teaching profession in Korea. With the acknowledgment of these characteristics, one can find some implications from Korean experience as follows.
Controls on Quantitative Expansion of Teachers
The government strategically controlled the quantitative increase of teachers. At the initial stage, the government focused on the elementary schools by recruiting more teachers for them, and later recruited more teachers for middle school, and high schools. The increase of teachers by school levels was closely related with the sequential expansion of education in Korea. It was also interwoven with the personnel status of teachers as public official of the central government. Their numbers and salaries must be controlled by the related ministries of finance and civil services as well for the soundness of public finance.##3D_LAYER####3D_TEXT:The education ministry still has to undergo enduring negotiation with those ministries for more teachers and higher salaries every year. This structural control has restrained speedy increase of teachers, and inquired the educational ministry to choose between the class size and pay of teachers.##3D_LAYER_END## The government has chosen to keep the salary of teachers a certain level above, at the expense of having more teachers, especially for secondary schools. The strategic approach of ‘larger class size but high pay’ contributed to the development of teaching profession to some extent.##3D_LAYER####3D_TEXT:1)Han, Y. (2001) 한국의 교원보수정책 평가(The policies and structures of teacher salaries in Korea).##3D_LINK:https://www.kdevelopedia.org/Resources/social-development/%ED%95%9C%EA%B5%AD%EC%9D%98-%EA%B5%90%EC%9B%90%EB%B3%B4%EC%88%98%EC%A0%95%EC%B1%85-%ED%8F%89%EA%B0%80-policies-structures-teacher-salaries-kore--05201601160143030.do?fldIds=TP_SOC|TP_SOC_ED#.Vpsu5ZqLSiM##3D_TEXT:2) UNESCO and WB (2012) Strengthening Education Quality in East Asia: System Assessment and Benchmarking for Education Results.##3D_LINK:https://www.kdevelopedia.org/Resources/social-development/strengthening-education-quality-east-asia--05201601160143041.do?fldIds=TP_SOC|TP_SOC_ED#.VpsvWZqLSiM##3D_LAYER_END## It also can be interpreted that the government attempted to achieve two competing goals - expansion and improvement - in phases.##3D_LAYER####3D_TEXT:Kim, E. G. (2009) Teacher Policy : Procurement and Disposition of Qualitative Teachers. Understanding Korean Educational Policy Vol. 8. Korean Educational Development Institute.##3D_LINK:https://www.kdevelopedia.org/Resources/social-development/teacher-policy--04201509090139841.do?fldIds=TP_SOC|TP_SOC_ED#.VpYBUNKqmy0##3D_LAYER_END## In addition, teachers as public officials had to follow personnel order of being dispatched to remote regions, which contributed to the effective delivery of compulsory education and to the expansion of enrollment all over the nation.
[Figure] Trends of Students per Teacher by School Levels##3D_LAYER####3D_TEXT:As you can see in the figure, the students to a teacher ratio of the elementary school was as high as over 60 in the middle of 1960s, and decreased to below 30 in 1989. The ratio stayed over 40 by the middle of 1980s because the new recruitment of teacher did not accommodate the rapid increase of student population, which started to decrease from 1985 and curbed down the ratio drastically. The ratio of high school showed a stagnant trend around 30 by the end of 1980s, and reduced to below 20 owing to the diminishing student population.##3D_LAYER_END##
[Source: MOE & KEDI. Statistical Yearbook of Education, various years]
Pre-Service Education System
To economically produce more teachers within limited time in the early days, the Korean government operated closed and purposed-oriented training system which has been still working and formulated a unique culture and strong solidarity among the teaching profession. Most of elementary school teachers are still trained without any exchanges with peers who want to have other professions. Even prospective secondary school teachers are detached from other students of liberal arts and science in teachers’ colleges or departments. This separation could hinder the diversity or creativity of prospective teachers who should prepare students to live in diverse societies with various viewpoints.##3D_LAYER####3D_TEXT:Kim, H. S. (2002) A review of the National System for Teacher Training: The Korean case of National Universities of Education.##3D_LINK:https://www.kdevelopedia.org/Resources/social-development/review-national-system-teacher-training--05201510020140163.do?fldIds=TP_SOC|TP_SOC_ED#.VpXdcdKqmy0##3D_LAYER_END##
Institutionalization of Policies by Legislation
All the major systems dealing with teacher policy have been institutionalized by laws, decrees, and regulations, guaranteeing the continuity and stability of the policies. This institutionalization could be buttressed by coordination and support from other ministries and the congress. Public Educational Officials Act is the exemplary legislation which was first enacted in 1953 and the last version is available in English (amended in July 2011).##3D_LAYER####3D_TEXT:This act includes the chapters of qualification of teachers, recruitment and promotion, remuneration, training, status and disciplinary actions and so on. Based upon this basic law, the ministry can prepare more detailed decrees and regulations about each sector. However, this system has mandated strong control of the ministry of the central government inhibiting the flexibility of local educational authorities and schools to some extent. [Acts regarding public educational officials. Korea Ministry of Government Legislation.]##3D_LINK:https://www.kdevelopedia.org/Resources/social-development/acts-regarding-public-educational-officials--05201601130142979.do?fldIds=TP_SOC|TP_SOC_ED#.VpYFatKqmy0##3D_LAYER_END## But the legal system has controlled basic quality of teachers and protected their rights as custodians of the teaching profession.
Comprehensive Package to Attract Talents
The government provided comprehensive incentive package to invite and retain talented persons in the teaching profession.##3D_LAYER####3D_TEXT:Kim et al. (2012) Successful Strategy for Training Teachers in Korean Education. 2011 Modularization of Korea’s Development Experience. Ministry of Strategy and Finance (MOSF), Republic of Korea.##3D_LINK:https://www.kdevelopedia.org/Resources/social-development/successful-strategy-training-teachers-koreeducation--04201210100122109.do?fldIds=TP_SOC|TP_SOC_OT#.VpXdudKqmy0##3D_LAYER_END## In addition to the permanent personnel status as public officials, they were granted the license and the job upon their graduation from the pre-service education by 1990. Moreover, students in the National University of Education still benefit from cheap tuition fees, and male students in those institutions were exempted from three-year mandatory military services from 1969 to 1990.##3D_LAYER####3D_TEXT:Kyunghyang Shinmun (1990) Introduction of ROTC system in universities of education.##3D_LINK:https://www.kdevelopedia.org/Resources/social-development/introduction-rotc-system-universities-education--05201601130142980.do?fldIds=TP_SOC|TP_SOC_ED#.VpYFddKqmy0##3D_LAYER_END## Without these inclusive benefits, the teaching profession would not have attracted so many capable young minds.
Implications for Other Countries
|Subject||Social Development < Education|