Monday, May 26, 2014

Foreign instructors receiving education about Korean culture

Back in 2009, KBS reported the following (via Brian):
S.Korea May Force Foreign Teachers to Learn about Nation

A lawmaker is seeking to make it mandatory that foreigners who are hoping to work as English teachers in the nation’s schools or private institutes become more educated about Korea’s culture and the expectations of teachers in Korea.

Representative Cho Jeon-hyuk of the ruling Grand National Party, who is also a member of the parliamentary committee on education, proposed on Thursday revisions to laws on schools and private institutes.

The revised bills seek to make it mandatory for private institutes to have foreign teachers complete educational programs on South Korea’s culture and people.

Cho said most foreign teachers in the nation do not have enough of an understanding about Korea’s culture and practices. He said the revisions are aimed at raising the quality of the nation’s English education programs by mandating that foreign teachers have better knowledge of Korea.
These revised bills were never passed for public school teachers, but the one applying to hagwons was incorporated into the large-scale revision of the Hagwon Law in 2011. Since then such educational programs have been put into place for foreign instructors, and on May 20, Buddhism Zero News, along with several Daejeon news outlets, reported on training for foreign hagwon instructors taking place the next day:
Foreign Hagwon Instructor Training Implemented

On May 21, the Daejeon Metropolitan Office of Education will hold the 2014 Foreign Hagwon Instructor Training Education, organized by the Daejeon branch of the Korea Association of Hakwon, in the auditorium of the Daejeon Institute of Education and Science from 9:30 to 11:30 in the morning.

This training is for 309 foreign hagwon instructors on E-2 visas working at 122 hagwons under the DMOE's jurisdiction and is to be held for the purpose of preparing them for their roles as social educators and to help them adapt to Korean culture.

This training is to strengthen the capability of foreign teachers by inspiring a sense of responsibility and sense of duty as lifelong educators and to educate them about 'understanding Korean culture' and 'prevention and punishment of of sex crimes against children and youth.'

The plan for this year's training is for foreign instructors to have an understanding of Korean culture and laws to prevent such things as sex crimes from happening in hagwons beforehand and to be the starting point for quality instructors to work in Daejeon hagwons.
A whole two hours of educational programs for the foreign instructors, with a large chuck of it devoted to educating them so as to prevent sex crimes against children? Impressive.

Such 'Criminal Prevention' tips for foreign teachers released by the Daegu office of education in 2010 can be seen here, and in the fall of that year, 'sex crime prevention training' for foreign teachers was reported to have taken place in Asan and Busan; a photo from the Asan session is below:

This being Daejeon, the mention of the the session being organized by the Daejeon branch of the  Korea Association of Hakwon made me wonder if this was the same group behind this campaign involving some 200 banners back in the late spring of 2007 (first mentioned on Dave's ESL Cafe and then reported on by Chris Gelken in the Korea Herald:

As it turns out, however, the organization behind this was the was the Daejeon Foreign Language Education Association, a group of foreign language hagwon owners (as is made clear by the Korean sign):

So no, not the same groups at all.

Needless to say, having a significant section of an educational program about Korean culture for foreign instructors devoted to the punishments for sex crimes against children might give them insight into an aspect of Korean culture that the organizers didn't intend.

1 comment:

King Baeksu said...

Just strap on a one-year, time-release chastity belt to every new male E-2 Visa recipient. For those who wish to extend local employment after their first year, they shall be allowed to travel abroad belt-free during the holiday period between visas, as long as they have demonstrated a proper, healthy understanding of Korean culture during their period of sojourn here.

For those planning to work more than five years in the Republic of Korea, we suggest castration as a more convenient "final solution."