'No questions asked hiring' of native speaking instructors... the uncomfortable inside storyInteresting. SBS seems to be inadvertently speaking out against cutting foreign teachers in public schools. The inference is that schools can weed out the fakes, while hagwons can't. Or as it says above, "Hagwons are not in a position to distinguish whether they are foreigners or gyopo"; something that I don't think is true at all - they just don't bother trying. Of course, there's no surprise there, since, once again, when Korean Americans (or the odd Canadian) are wanted for murder and found to be teaching in Korea, the media also find themselves "not in a position to distinguish whether they are foreigners or gyopo" - they're all "native speakers." This time is no different, since, if the Korean American criminals in question were deported to Korea, they must have all been Korean citizens, and there has never been a need for Korean citizens to provide foreign criminal record checks to work in hagwons (though perhaps this might start to be required after a few dozen more such cases). As for native speaking teachers being "impossible to find," that's not true at all, but it sounds good if you're making a case against hagwons and for public schools, I suppose. Of course, in the end, since SBS isn't making clear that it's because they were Korean citizens that they were able to get away with not having their criminal records found out, it still paints "native speaking teachers" as potential murderers and criminals.
Parents are greatly concerned after watching last night's 8pm news report about the dismissal of many native speaking teachers from Seoul's elementary, middle and high schools. It's not just the private education costs but also the difficulty of entrusting children to hagwon native speaking instructors.
In August police were searching a native speaking instructor's house and found not only numerous faked US university degrees, but also a plastic bag with marijuana seeds.
The house's owner was 38 year old Mr. Kim, a former US gang member, who was sentenced to and served ten years for murder before being deported to Korea in 2007.
Five months later he was working at a language hagwon as a native speaking instructor. He'd easily found a fake diploma using the internet.
Kim also gave a fake diploma to and found a job as an instructor for another Korean American who had committed a violent crime and was deported. [...]
At the end of June, there were 1300 registered hagwons in Seoul.
With such an abundance of hagwons, native speaking instructors are truly impossible to find.
Hagwons are not in a position to distinguish whether they are foreigners or gyopo, or whether they have qualifications or not.
Instructors disclose that it's common for backgrounds to be faked. [...]
Parents cannot hide their anxiety.
Shim Young-mi, Seoul Daechi-dong: It's scary. To some degree children learn from the teacher's way of speaking, behavior and character. This is a problem.
Native speaking teachers in the public school system will be sharply reduced.
Students will be driven into the private education market where teaching frauds abound.
Just for fun, the 'no questions asked hiring' in the title above echoes an August 18, 2006 Segye Ilbo article, which was titled "As long as they just speak English... The 'no questions asked hiring' of foreign instructors" (and which contained this cartoon).
As for the SMOE budget cuts for elementary and middle school foreign teachers, they are supposed to decided on today, according to this Joongang Daily article (which is much clearer than any other I've read):
"According to the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, the 4.4 billion won ($3.9 million) usually allocated to hiring foreign English teachers at city high schools was removed from next year’s budget proposal. [...]Worth adding is that high school teachers may not necessarily be let go - those who are accepted for a new contract can move to a middle or elementary school.
The Seoul Metropolitan Council is also hoping to cut 4.9 billion won from the budget for foreign English teachers at elementary and middle schools in the city, however the council is currently going through a week-long deliberation period on the matter. The final decision will be made on Dec. 15 during the council’s general meeting."