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Stricter drug screening planned for native English teachers

Stricter drug screening planned for native English teachers

Posted January. 26, 2011 11:20,   


Foreigners who want to teach English in Korea will face stricter drug screening by the government, the Justice Ministry said Tuesday.

The ministry will announce a revised law on immigration control that requires those suspected of drug use to undergo two tests before employment as English teachers on the E-2 visa. The law will take effect from Feb. 1.

Under the revised law, a would-be teacher should get tested for immunity with a drug diagnosis reagent authorized by the Korea Food and Drug Administration. If the test is positive, he or she must undergo another test using a mass spectrometer.

The ministry will test for methamphetamine, cocaine, opium and marijuana. If the second test is positive, issuance or extension of a visa will be denied.

A Justice Ministry official said, “A number of English instructors took drugs while teaching, and we wanted to prevent this in advance.”

The government also raised the bar for medical centers that conduct drug testing. Only those that can independently conduct drug testing or issue a pre-employment medical examination document by outsourcing the test will be qualified among public and private medical centers.

The government will allow medical institutions that pass screening by the ministry to conduct drug testing.