Thursday, December 03, 2009

SMOE's annual HIV retest requirement

Benjamin Wagner has an article in the Korea Herald about the retesting of all foreign SMOE employees for HIV and drugs when renewing contracts.
The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education has decided to retest all of its 1,120 foreign English teachers for AIDS and drugs -- regardless of visa type -- and plans to continue retesting them on a yearly basis. Other provincial education offices are instituting similar plans.

There are 59 countries that have some form of HIV-related restrictions, but with this new retesting scheme Korea has become one of only six countries with the most restrictive forms in place.[...]

The Korea Immigration Service has explained that they will not be requiring E-2 visa holders to provide additional AIDS and drug test results when renewing visas with current employers.

"Please note that in this case," the KIS announced in July, "if you have already submitted relevant documents, then you do not need to submit them (again) when you extend your sojourn period." The SMOE, however, has told teachers that the "HIV and drug test" is "a yearly requirement" and further warned that the test results are "an inspectable item at our office by the Korean government auditors and failure to it turn it in will have an impact on your employment with SMOE."
Read the rest of the article here.


José María said...

Despite his fiendly rhetoric, LMB could be remembered as the most unfriendly person towards English teachers in Korean history.
Well, no, there was that incident with missionaries...

Anonymous said...

I guess they think if they suggest enough times that foreigner have aids then Korean women will stop sleeping with western men. Korea has tried for many years to prevent its female citizens exercising their free choice.
What should the teachers do?
1. If you are a foreign man, express your affection for your Korean girlfriend in public as often as possible. Tell your students about your relationship as often as you can.
2. Tell your family and friends what a backward racist country you live work in and the government seems to encourage the racism.
3. Encourage all you know to never purchase Korean made products. Spend as little money as you can in Korea and spend it in other countries that respect your human rights and dignity.
4. Always wear your Dokdo is Japanese territory shirt.
5. Finally, forget about all the racist hate in Korea, its always been here and it always will be.
Teach your students how to be world citizens not backward racist idiots.

Anonymous said...

There is no reward for being loyal or for being a good employee in Korea if you are foreign. You are simply something to be used then thrown away. Foreigners are commodities to Korean employers. They do not trust foreigners to teach anything. This is what makes the job so simple. There are no expectations that you can teach anything. If parents did not demand it, then you would not be teaching in Korean schools.
Koreans do not want to treat you equally or fairly. Again, use you and throw you away. In this environment, make your money and do your backpacking. There is no reason to put in effort when it will not be rewarded. Korea is and remains and an intolerant racist country.

King Baeksu said...

Wagner forgot to mention that SMOE is also introducing a new phrenological test for all E2 candidates in order to better determine teaching aptitude and moral soundness.

Anonymous said...

Could teachers being retested in other provinces please say which provinces?

I know for Ulsan Office of Education retests for drugs and AIDS.

And now I know about the SMOE.

What other provinces?

Chris in South Korea said...

So if your school makes you take a test like this and you decline, they can fire you... And then you file a lawsuit / labor board case about unfair firing because of a rule that isn't law... I have nothing to hide from a medical scan (except a few kilos I'd like to lose), but that isn't the point. Just because one has nothing to hide doesn't waive one's right to privacy. And yes, something inside my body is MINE - PRIVATE and mine to do with as I please.

mr.pharmacist said...

If I thought the results were actually confidential, maybe. But knowing that they would go to the school admin office, be passed about, and at lunch someone congratulate me on not having aids,this be willfully misinterpreted as I DO have aids... nah. F-off.
It's moot anyways. I wouldn't bother with SMOE.

Darth Babaganoosh said...

The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education has decided to retest all of its 1,120 foreign English teachers for AIDS and drugs -- regardless of visa type

Now when they say "foreigner" here, do they actually mean ALL foreign (non-citizen) teachers? Or do they actually mean all non-Korean foreign teachers (ie. gyopos are excluded)?

Yes, I know they said regardless of visa type, but 교포 are not exactly 외국인, according to most Koreans.

Anonymous said...

Chris in South Korea,
Why would you have to wait until they fire you? They probably never give documentation as to whether/why they fired you or weren't renewed. Why would documentation be necessary? SMOE already announced it publicly that NSET's must take the test or not be hired/continue employment.

B_Wagner said...

. . . do they actually mean all non-Korean foreign teachers?

Yes all foreign teachers,according to the SMOE rep I interviewed, this includes gyopos (F-4 visa) and foreign spouses (F-2 visa).

Anonymous said...

Gyeongsangnam-do public school teachers were also required to get a full medical check (including drugs and HIV), and were told in a letter that it was needed by the Immigration office to renew the contract. I knew this wasn't true, but didn't want to stir up trouble. (We also had to submit it with a signed contract to be considered for renewal.)

Despite taking along my previous EPIK medical check to the hospital with a note from my co-teacher stressing the importance of completing all the tests, upon picking up the results from my local hospital, I found they had failed to complete the drugs and HIV tests. Some more legwork was necessary before I could obtain complete documentation of my good health.

After all this I decided to put the medical check to better use, by looking for another job.