Go to contents

[Editorial] Extension of Teachers Retirement Age; Education Consumers Opinion Has to Be Considered

[Editorial] Extension of Teachers Retirement Age; Education Consumers Opinion Has to Be Considered

Posted November. 23, 2001 09:20,   


It seems inappropriate that the Grand National Party and the United Liberal Democrats voted for the revised bill to extend the teachers retirement age from 62 to 63.

First of all, it betrays the opinion of the education consumers, who are students and their parents. Most of them believe that the reduction of the teachers retirement age is inevitable to improve the education quality and to revitalize the education by rejuvenating the teacher`s society. Over 70 percent of parents are opposed to the extension of the retirement age for teachers.

The teacher`s platform cannot be exceptional from the restructuring turmoil of the Korean society since the introduction of IMF management system. Hence, the recurrence of the reformation measure simply shows the negligence of shifted circumstances. It also raises the question about the principal of equity.

Particularly, consistency is the pith of educational policy. The frequent changes of already implemented policies will accumulate more chaos over the chaotic education situation. All education policies are set up to be suitable for the reduction of the retirement age. If the political circle reverse it, they would stir up the whole education system.

The Grand National Party promised that it would not exercise a `power politics` by numbers after they won the by-election and re-election. They seem to have, however, yield to the temptation. The act of ULD, which agreed with the ruling party to reduce the retirement age in 1999, may be blamed as a machination without a principle.

The 1 year extension of the retirement age won`t be helpful for the resolution of the scarcity of teachers. If the bill passes, 726 elementary teachers and 1210 high school teacher will remain in their schools one more year. However, there will be no real benefit for the supply of teachers since most of them are principals and vice-principals except for 93 elementary teachers and 284 high school teachers. Furthermore, contrary to the elementary teachers, many applicants with high school teacher certificate are waiting to find jobs.

In a situation that the revised bill would not solve the scarcity of teachers at all, the Grand National Party exercised its power to pass the bill, recording its first mistake as a majority. It is questionable whether they did so to attract a certain interest group, considering the local government election and the Presidential election next year.

The educational policy, which must be a centurial plan, should not be stirred by the political interest. The educational matters have to be solved for the sake of education, not for politics. The political circle should consider the people`s opinion before they go into the plenary session of the National Assembly.