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Disciplinary action against teachers planned

Posted October. 22, 2000 03:10,   


The Ministry of Education's call for disciplinary action against teachers participating in off-campus gatherings and demonstrations slated for Oct. 24, as well as the adoption and normalization of "free education," is expected to draw a backlash.

The Ministry of Education has sent public notices dated Oct. 20 to various school boards and schools stating, "The plan by the umbrella teachers' union for teachers to hold an outdoor rally away from their schools and neglect their duties clearly violates union laws, and participants will face disciplinary action."

The public notice also stated, "The planned rally on Oct. 24 violates the students' right to education and study and is in clear violation of the teachers' union laws against such walkouts." The notice added, "Should the plan be carried out, the teachers' union will have accept responsibility for all that follows."

A source in the Ministry of Education stated, "We have already been informed of the Ministry of Labor's decision that the collective confrontational action by the teachers' union violates teachers' union laws, and we have also obtained the support of the Prosecutor's Office." He further explained, "Should the unlawful collective action of the teachers' union be allowed to continue as it has been since negotiations began in June, it would pose a serious violation of the rights of students to education. As such, we have decided to take stern action."

The teachers' union called for the adoption of "free education", the revision of private school laws and the revision of retrogressive civil servants' pension fund laws. To make its voice heard, the teachers' union has planned and already filed a request with the city to hold a gathering at Seoul Station on Oct. 24 with 5,000 to 7,000 teachers pledging attendance.

Lee Jin-Yeong ecolee@donga.com