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  • 작성자 사진Kim Min-ji

[Feature] Some Teachers Accept Only Wealthy Students as Their Students in Private Education Cartel

No.165 / Sep 4, 2023

In Korea, before entering university, most students complete 12 years of education course: 6 years of primary education and 3 years of secondary and tertiary education each. This period can ultimately be seen as a preparation process for the College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT) named “Suneung”. As an example, a total of 447,669 students, including graduates and those who passed the qualification exam, applied for the 2022 CSAT, of which 308,284 were born in 2003. This number is close to 63% of the total population of 493,500 people born in 2003. As such, entrance exams are a very sensitive and important field for Korean students and their parents. In a country with such characteristics, situation of the private education cartel was recently caught and complete enumeration investigation was launched.

So far, there have been cases where the Ministry of Education (MOE) has launched an investigation of additional job limited to specific fields, such as YouTube. However, this is the first time that a complete enumeration investigation of incumbent teachers has been undertaken in all industries. As a result of the investigation by the National Tax Service, about 130 incumbent teachers were paid for being involved in the production of private institute’s workbook, prepared for school exams. More than half of them received more than 100 million won, and there was a teacher who received 930 million won. Among them, there are many teachers who have been involved in the Korea Institute for Curriculum and Evaluation (KICE), which is an organization in charge of the CSAT. Public as well as private teachers are prohibited for-profit business and an additional job under the National Public Officials Act. Most of those caught are teachers who illegally did an additional job without being permitted, which is an activity that violates the anti-request laws and can be a subject to criminal punishment. However, it is expected that there will be difficulties in imposing criminal punishment due to difficulties in proving how many exams each teacher wrote. In that case, based on the Government Officials Act’s clauses, “All public officials must faithfully perform their duties,” severe punishments, such as suspension, demotion, and dismissal, may be imposed.

To achieve high scores in school tests and CSAT, teachers are also leading students to go to academy instead of schools, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Teachers need to invest more in classroom teaching so that students can trust their school teaching, and the government should also establish measures, such as minimizing teachers’ unnecessary documentation work and providing financial incentives so that teachers can develop themselves. The MOE announced that breaking the private education cartel is the most important factor in restoring public education, and in response, large academies expressed a position that they sympathize with the policy stance of the MOE to reform the CSAT more fairly. In order to restore a fair education, even the president is pouring his energy through the order to exclude super high-level questions, killer questions in Korean tearm for the CSAT. The Ajou Globe (The AG) hopes that the restored teacher’s authority and equal right to education will be realized through this reform.


By Kim Min-ji, AG Senior Editor

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