Monday, October 08, 2012

1 in 5 schools have no foreign teachers

As I mentioned in this post, this is the season of parliamentary audits of government ministries, and all sorts of statistics have been brought to light, even in the case of foreign teachers. The contents of this September 21 Yonhap article turned up in about 9 articles:
18% of schools nationwide have no native speaking English teacher
Seoul to cut all NSETs in middle and high schools by next year... Students per teacher average of 799

At elementary, middle and high schools nationwide 2 out of 10 schools have no native speaking assistant English teacher.

According to data received from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology,  National Assembly Education, Science and Technology Committee member Rep. Min Byeong-ju (Saenuri Party) said that as of April 30 of this year, of 11,368 elementary, middle and high schools nationwide, native speaking assistant English teacher were not placed at 2,065 (18.17%) schools.

Among these, Gyeonggi-do had the lowest placement rate, with 798 out of 2,200 schools (36.27%) lacking NSETs, followed by Incheon (29.30%), Jeollabuk-do (26.69%), and Gyeongsangnam-do (23.58%).

Out of 1,290 elementary, middle and high schools in Seoul, 1,126 (87.29%) are equipped with NSETs, but according to Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education Policy, middle and high schools will see all NSETs reduced by next year.

It was found that the average student to NSET ratio nationwide is 799. In Gyeonggi-do the ratio is 1,147, and Jeollanam-do,  Incheon and Gwangju all have over 1,000 students per NSET.

On the other hand, the student to teacher ratios in Gyeongsangbuk-do (475), Chungcheongnam-do (482), Jeju-do (500), and Gangwon-do (506) were relatively smaller.

Among the 8,520 native speaking English assistant teachers placed nationwide, the number belonging to employment Level 1 or 1+, the 'excellent [pay] level,' is 1,602 (28.7%).

Employment level 1 is for instructors with more than two years of education experience who hold a master's degree, teaching licence or English education certificate, or who have a major related to English education. Level 1+ is for Level 1 teachers who have good classroom performance who have worked for a city or provincial office of education for more than 2 years.

By region, Gangwon-do has the highest rate of teachers at the excellent level, with 59.5% of assistant teachers placed there at those levels. Gyeongsangnam-do, Gwangju, and Jeollanam-do had between 38.3 and 46.1%, respectively, and Seoul has 30.7%.

Since native speaking English assistant teachers were first introduced in 1995, opinions have varied between those claiming they help strengthen public English education, and those claiming that the actual effect they have is low compared to the cost of attracting excellent personnel like those with teaching licences.
To see statistics from previous years for comparison, those from 2010 (when they were incorrectly used paint 50+% of foreign teachers in public schools as contract breakers who disrupt English education) are here, while those from 2011 are here. The drop in Gyeonggi-do's ranking is of course from the massive budget cuts for NSETs there.

There were also several articles looking at foreign teachers' qualifications. I'll look at those tomorrow.

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