Education ministry refuses to amend discriminatory qualification required of foreign teachers

SEOUL-- The education ministry did not accept a recommendation from the National Human Rights Commission that it address a potentially discriminatory regulation requiring higher qualifications for foreign teachers at private learning institutions, officials said Tuesday.

The human rights watchdog has recommended the ministry amend the Private Teaching Institution Act's enforcement ordinance, as it requires, at the minimum, a four-year university degree from foreigners wanting to teach at cram schools, whereas two-year degrees are required for South Koreans.

But the ministry did not accept the recommendation, arguing the ordinance is aimed at ensuring quality education services and protecting students by preventing the negative effects of underqualified teaching.

In order to accept the dual hiring standard, the ministry must prove the existence of a discrepancy in the quality of education between foreign and domestic universities but failed to do so, the watchdog said.

The commission also said factors such as instructors' Korean language capacity and their major are more important in determining the quality of education provided to students.

Source: Yonhap News Agency