The Maeil Sinmun reports that schools — particularly regional colleges — and private academies are up in arms about the Ministry of Justice’s new visa requirements for foreigners looking to teach English in Korea.
More specifically, they say the new regulations — including the requirement to submit a criminal background check, which would require the nationals of nations not party to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents (read: Canadians) to return to their homeland once a year — are turning potential teachers off to Korea and making it difficult for schools to fill their staff requirements.
Moreover, the measures are driving up salaries for foreign teachers and finding fees to recruiting agencies.
Schools acknowledge the need to filter foreign teachers looking to come to Korea, but claim the new regulations — which treat all foreign teachers like criminals (their words, not mine) — are insufficient and will bring only ill side-effects.
The Ministry of Justice, however, is having none of it. The ministry said (or the Maeil Sinmun said it said) public insecurity about foreign language education has skyrocketed due to recent problems, including foreign teachers’ fake degrees, pot smoking and news that a serial child molester had taught in Korea. Accordingly, its new regulations would go into effect from Dec 15. A ministry official noted that nationals of Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalization for Foreign Public Documents member nations could get their criminal records in Korea, and that it was studying measures so that instructors with experience teaching in Korea would not have to go through unnecessary measures.
THERE IS AN OLD SAYING, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR, YOU MIGHT JUST GET IT.