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School Principals Refuse to Cooperate with Education Ministry

School Principals Refuse to Cooperate with Education Ministry

Posted May. 29, 2003 21:27,   


The board of directors of the Korea National and Private School Principals` Association held a press interview at President Hotel Seoul in the morning of May 29 and announced that it would refuse to follow instructions from the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development concerning the controversial NEIS, a national teachers and students database system.

The move then will lead to an unprecedented situation, in which school heads deny cooperation with the government in education policies and administration.

It will also likely intensify the conflicts between conservative school principals and progressive members of the Korea Teachers and Education Workers Union (KTU).

˝As heads of schools who are responsible for teaching young students, we are determined to maintain the NEIS,˝ said the council. ˝Minister Yoon should resign immediately for having bowed to demands of the radical teachers` union.˝

˝The act of negotiating with KTU and yielding to their illegitimate demands is against the law, so any agreement made between the ministry and the union does not hold true,˝ it also said.

˝While the privacy problems can be fixed technically, the union is opposing adoption of NEIS so as to build a safety net against negligence and irresponsibility, which is against the reform drive,˝ the council pointed out.

˝We will launch an aggressive campaign against the close-door deal in league with a large number of teachers and parents,˝ said Lee Sang-jin, the chairman of the board. ˝We expect that President Roh will soon take a decisive action to prevent the education community from being engulfed by chaos that can lead to a national crisis.˝

Seong-Chul Hong sungchul@donga.com