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As Private Institution Worries Fall, Parents Wait and See

As Private Institution Worries Fall, Parents Wait and See

Posted February. 26, 2004 23:53,   


After the announcement of the government’s measures to reduce private education costs on February 17 and the plan for normalizing the school education of the Seoul Education Office, the market for private education, which is especially crowded in the GangNam area in Seoul, is fluctuating.

Having experienced a decrease in members due to the economic slump, and having suffered from a tax investigation followed by concentrated supervision from the end of last year, private institutions feel a crisis in which they are groping for new ways to survive.

Parents of students are busy making a strategy for their children’s study as they observe the current change.

-The Frozen Market of Private Education

According to real estate dealers in DaeChi-dong, KangNam-gu, private institutions were increasingly being put up for sale, and the charges for rent decreased by 20 percent compared to the end of last year.

As a result of an investigation by a Dong-A data team, major institutions in KangNam also lost students by more than 30 percent, particularly in single subject classes.

The vice president of the Hanbit Institution located in DaeChi-dong, KangNam-gu, Park Hang-bae, is worried, saying, “If the Seoul Education Office prohibits classes in institutions after 10:00 p.m. and a complementary class is conducted in a school until 10:00 p.m., more students will leave institutions.”

In addition, institutions for specialized subjects in high school of special objects are getting nervous when Government expresses its will to operate high schools for special objects normally.

The P Institute in JamWon-dong, SeoCho-gu will abolish its class for a foreign high school and devote itself to classes for self-supporting private high schools.

The head of the planning department of the H Institute in JoongKye-dong, NoWon-gu, a person named Park, said, “It is expected that the 10 or so classes which prepare students for high schools of special objects will drop to two classes.”

-Quick Transformation

Many institutions are coping with the situation flexibly, such as creating classes for specialized EBS lectures and installing monitors in each classroom.

A staff member of the D Institution in JoongGye-dong said, “We adjusted our timetable so that students who finish a complementary class can study one or two hours here starting in March. We will create a computer room and let students ask direct questions to teachers during their self-study periods.”

Online education companies have plans to make classes available without fee, and to offer diverse classes preparing students for EBS lectures and aptitude tests.

The Ambience of Parents

Students and parents are observing the current situation. A person named Kim (47-year-old) said, “I don’t know that internet classes will be competitive to institutions which hold students tight,” adding,” It may be not easy for a school to deliver various formatted classes on the same level as institutions.”

Meanwhile, a few specialized institutions in KangNam predict in a positive way that the plan against private education will turn out to make a small impact.

Hyo-Lim Son aryssong@donga.com cij1999@donga.com