SEOUL, South Korea's presidential office, the government and the ruling Democratic Party (DP) agreed Tuesday that the country will provide free education to all high school students starting in 2021.
To this end, authorities will begin free education for high school seniors in the fall semester and expand it to students in their second and third years of high school next year.
Currently, South Korea provides free education for elementary and middle school students.
The detailed plan was revealed at a meeting among officials from Cheong Wa Dae, the education ministry and the ruling party held at the National Assembly.
The introduction of free education for high school students is a top priority in the education sector under the Moon Jae-in administration as it seeks to become an inclusive nation.
"The right to receive an education is a basic right stipulated in the Constitution. Along with elementary and middle schools, the provision of free education for high school students is a necessary task to realize such a basic right," DP floor leader Hong Young-pyo said at the start of the meeting.
Expenditures needed to expand free education will be shared by the central government and regional education offices, according to the participants.
Koo Yoon-cheol, a vice finance minister, said if free education is expanded, a household with one high school student is expected to save 1.58 million won (US$1,382) per year.
The DP said it will do its best for the National Assembly to pass relevant education bills.
Source: Yonhap news Agency