Teachers may use a maternity leave of one year per child. They only need to use this leave within three years and there are no restrictions as to how they use them, and this led to some teachers using this maternity leave rather selfishly. For example, if a teacher applies for a maternity leave at the beginning of March for one semester and become reinstated in July, the number of months used for maternity leave becomes four months, providing them a substantial six-month leave of absence including vacation. Moreover, although teachers receive only 40 percent of their wages as allowance for fostering a child, if they get reinstated immediately before vacation, they get their whole wage even though they are able to rest a couple of months.
Recently, a petition that “a maternity leave for formal teachers should only be permitted by semester’ was submitted on the online petition corner for citizens at the website of the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae. “Recommending the use of maternity leave by designating the period by semester” when the personnel guideline for public educational personnel stipulates the use of one-year maternity leave by dividing it as much as one desires is not useful at all. “Using maternity leave selfishly at school is not an unusual incident,” said an official from the Office of Education who used to be a principal.
The person who filed the petition to the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae is highly likely to be a temporary teacher or people nearby. “Leave of absence when school starts and becoming reinstated during vacation” practiced by regular teachers is not just securing their profit but also taking away someone else’s job. Temporary teachers are hired to supplement a vacancy, which means that notwithstanding their contract of six months or one year, they have to quit right away when regular teachers are reinstated. It is doubtful whether they will be able to find another job at the beginning of a new semester but also become jobless during school vacation.
Of course, vice principal or principal of a school recommends teachers to use their maternity leave by six months or one year upon applying it. However, when they apply for reinstatement immediately before the beginning of summer or winter vacation, saying that their mother or mother-in-law is able to take care of their child all of a sudden, the school has no choice but to accept their request for reinstatement even though they know that it is a mere excuse. Before talking of big words, having a sense of conscience is the beginning of education. How can a teacher, who is shameless, teach students to have a sense of conscience?