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Private School Personnel Rights to be Granted to Principals

Private School Personnel Rights to be Granted to Principals

Posted July. 06, 2004 22:16,   


As early as the second half of 2005, the right to appoint and dismiss of private school personnel will be granted to principals to root out corruption in private elementary and secondary schools, and colleges, and anyone involved in school corruption cases will get much longer suspension times.

The Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development revealed in a report submitted to the Education Committee of the national assembly on July 6 that it will submit a revision of the Private School Law next month to the assembly.

In the meantime, the Korean Association of Private Schools is appealing this revision, which might change the way private schools are operated.

Whether the revision of Private School Law will finally be passed this time is drawing a great deal of attention from all sides.

According to the revision, the right to appoint and dismiss a member of the teaching staff, which currently at the discretion of private school foundations, will be granted to a principal of the school, and the principal is required to practice the power upon a request from the teaching personnel committee.

In private colleges, the right once (from 1981 to 1990) belonged to the president of the college. However, the right was returned to private school foundations in April 1990.

This revision would extend the obligatory suspension period of a person who is involved in a private school corruption case to more than five years from the current two years.

Other new clauses in the revision includes stipulations that the proportion of the school foundation owner’s family members on the school trustee board should be under 20-25% from current 33%, and that more than 33% of the school trustee board should be recommended by the teaching staff in any college that has been prosecuted for a corruption case.

The public trustee system, where local or parents representatives can be included as school trustees in a certain proportion, was not introduced in the revision.

The revision of the Private School Law was submitted by the Millennium Democratic Party in April 2001, but was not brought up for discussion in the Education Committee in the Assembly due to the objection of the Grand National Party. The revision was then automatically dissolved as the 16th National Assembly closed.

In the 17th Assembly, this revision will receive more chances to be passed since the Uri Party is the majority party.

The Korean Association of Private School Foundations showed its strong opposition to the revision, saying, “We do agree on punishing corrupt foundations. However, changing the systems of ownership and operation of healthy educational institutions will only dismantle the grounds of private school foundations’ existences,” hinting at an impending controversy over the revision.

Hyo-Lim Son aryssong@donga.com