Sub-Theme 3 | Improvement Tasks of Compulsory Elementary Education
Korea's education system and education policy and administration have government-led centralized characteristics. Korea has maintained a centralized system with regard to the legalization of teacher training and employment, enactment and operation of the national curriculum and government-published textbook system. These features have effectively worked in securing the quality of education and equal access to education, along the rapid expansion of educational opportunities, by enhancing the effectiveness of school system and standardizing the contents of education.
Korea had to adopt the low-cost approach to achieve the plan for compulsory elementary education. It was inevitable under the dismal conditions of the time.
Korea's unit cost of education was far below than that of other countries with similar income levels (although it has recently been analyzed to be slightly better than those countries). The reasons were the facts that the government could be able to minimize the costs for construction, operation and maintenance of educational facilities by utilizing the high number of students per class, operating at least a double or triple-shift system, and attracting a large-scale school to the utmost.
Concerning the supply of teachers, by operating the temporary teacher training institutes which had a relatively shorter training period and were less expensive compared to normal teacher training institutions, the government could significantly reduce the costs for teacher training. Moreover, Korean culture in which teaching positions are traditionally respected and maintain relatively high status served as a critical factor to secure teachers at low salary.
As discussed in the 『Low-cost approach』, Korea's education can be said that it put priority on the expansion of educational opportunities for elementary education, rather than focusing on degradation of education quality due to the multi-shift system, overcrowded classes and overly-large schools.
From Korea's historical and social perspectives in which the education zeal and expectation is markedly higher than other countries, the policy prioritizing the expanding the educational opportunities were indispensable and appropriate.
Even though all education costs needed for education were minimized in order to put priority on the quantitative expansion of educational opportunities, the scale of education finances required was large. For Korea, which was one of the poorest countries in the world at that time, it was difficult to meet all required educational finances with the national treasury and thus the support from foreign countries and private sector was all the more necessary.
With regard to the budget required for school operation, the contributions of the private sector centering on parents support was outstanding. The parent support system which continued to exist in the name of parent support in the early period of state foundation was institutionalized as "Teacher-Parent Association" after the Korean War and greatly contributed to school operation. Although the contributions from these parent support systems varied by period, the amount reached as much as 75% of an estimated school income in 1958.
Improvement Tasks of Compulsory Elementary Education
|Subject||Social Development < Education|