Thursday, November 11, 2010

From Matt and Robert

Daejeon residents, here’s your tax money at work.

Strange as it may seem, the Quincy Black saga continues as local district assembly members question the responsibility of the company tasked with running the educational center where Quincy taught (and filmed). One lawmaker was particularly dogged, grilling a witness as to whether the school moved furniture from the teacher dorm room that appeared in the films in order to minimize the fallout from the scandal.

Well, I hope they changed the sheets, at least.

Public school teacher stats and the inquiry into Quincy Black

On Tuesday the Seoul Sinmun reported on the placement of native speaking teachers in public schools, and provided this helpful chart:

At top are the number of teachers by year, followed by a breakdown by nationality of teachers currently working, and at bottom are the percentages of teachers with qualifications. Interesting to see how the numbers changed over the years. The spike in 1996 and 1997 can be explained by something I quoted here (original link dead):
In 1995, at the crest of a wave of private language institutes sweeping the country, the Korean Ministry of Education launched a pilot program called KORETTA, or Korea English Teacher Training Assistants, later renamed the English Program in Korea, or EPIK. It was the first and only nationwide government-initiated program to address the demand for English education in Korea, designed to place native English speakers in public school classrooms to co-teach alongside Korean English teachers. EPIK, however, was marked from the start by disorganization, miscommunication and allegations of corruption by its foreign teachers.

In 1996, a summer intake that consisted of several orientation sessions, run by Korea University, brought in more than 860 teachers, but by the third week of October, fewer than 500 remained [468, according to the Korea Times on Oct. 23]. Those who quit cited reasons such as inadequate housing, late salary payments and refusal of severance pay.
In 1997 we see there were 856 teachers, but by the end of the year they started fleeing the country as the financial crisis hit Korea. An April 1, 1998 Korea Times article mentions that
Foreign English teachers are giving up their jobs in South Korean high schools because their pay has shrunk in value, discouraging an ambitious English education plan that started just a year ago. Education Ministry officials said 126 out of 856 native English-speaking teachers quit as of the end of last month [and few would re-sign when their contracts ended in July].
The number of teachers in public schools wouldn't reach the numbers from 1997 again until 2004.

In other news, the Daejeon city journal reports that as Daejeon Dong-gu council's administrative affairs investigative committee begins its probe into the spread of the "native speaking teacher sex video," [the one by Quincy Black] there is debate over the morality of Woongjin Think Big, the educational company in charge of running the International Communication Center, where he was staying.

(The Daejeon ICC, from Daum map's road view)

There are lots of questions being asked about the company's responsibility, whether it moved the furniture in the room afterward, calls for apologies, etc.

The article adds that
the sensation caused by the spread of the native speaking teacher sex video and the related problems with the native speaking teacher recruitment process and qualifications has raised questions regarding the morality of Woongjin Think Big, who are responsible for the management and supervision of these teachers.
If only they'd put "Do you plan to film pornography and upload it to foreign websites during your stay in Korea?" on an application form, the company would be able to blame the teacher (who, of course, should be blamed).

Lastly, Maeil Gyeongje reports that the Daegu International School is being investigated for having 10 foreign teachers work illegally, and for hiring at least 6 unqualified Korean elementary and middle school teachers. The foreign teachers were hired back when the school opened in August, but got into hot water when it was discovered they were paid on September 3, but had received their work visas on September 23, meaning they had been teaching on tourist visas for several weeks.

No comments: