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Korean Teachers and Educational Worker`s Union 8000 Members Affirm `Fight for Early Leave`

Korean Teachers and Educational Worker`s Union 8000 Members Affirm `Fight for Early Leave`

Posted October. 11, 2001 08:50,   


The Korean Teachers and Educational Worker`s Union (KTEWU, Soo-Ho Lee, Chair) reinforced on the 10th the `fight for early leave` which 8000 members attended, but there were only a few `class absences`.

The KTEWU called a meeting on the 10th at 3 pm with 2000 teachers attending the gathering at Seoul, Jongno-ku, Jongno 3-ka Jongmyo Park. The aim of the meeting was ``to hold a large group meeting discussion for stopping the marketization of education and increasing equal education.`` The KTEWU announced in its statement, ``independent private high schools, prohibition on feminist teaching, expansion of 7th education process and other misguided policies are creating much chaos in education.`` and requested that the policies be retracted.

Many of the teachers who attended the meeting finished class before the meeting or changed the class meeting times, which enabled most of the schools to hold regular classes as midterms are coming up.

Some teachers left classes early without securing permission or started arguing with the school principal.

Around 40 teachers at Seoul C elementary school left en masse without permission when the principal rejected request for early leave, saying ``I cannot authorize early leave for a meeting.`` Mr. L., a teacher at Seoul K junior high school, said, ``We didn`t have classes in the afternoon because we have already done midterms, but I left with 12 other colleagues when the principal did not give us permission.``

At the Seoul P junior high school, around 20 teachers announced their intention to take an early leave, assigning the afternoon special activity as `teachers association activity time` while Y Girls High School held a teachers athletic competition in the afternoon.

The Ministry of Education stated, ``Union activity during work hours is illegal and therefore we sent an official letter requesting that city education departments strictly enforce office regulations. Each city`s department will take disciplinary and other measures for persons in question.``

Meanwhile, 9 of the 11 member bodies of the National Education University Representative Council (Kim Koo-Hyun, President, Kwangju University Student President) opposed plans to appoint persons with secondary school teachers` certificate to elementary schools. The Council called for a vote on a strike, which appears likely to pass and is expected to begin between the 11th and the 12th.

Lee In-Chul inchul@donga.com