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Korean Private Schools Unite to Oppose Private School Reform Bill

Korean Private Schools Unite to Oppose Private School Reform Bill

Posted November. 14, 2004 23:20,   


Opposition against the revision to the private school reform bill promoted by the ruling party has deepened.

The Association of Private Schools in Korea (APSK) is sending a resolution opposing the reform bill to the nation’s private schools, including private elementary, middle and high schools, community colleges, and universities in an attempt to confirm their agreement.

Now, Yonsei University, one of Korea’s most prestigious universities, has decided to oppose the revision to the law in its recent board of directors meeting, the first official objection made by a major private university.

United Response-

Along with its resolution against the revision announced on October 18, the APSK sent official documents to all private schools nationwide and asked for their opinions. The document is reported to include the following: all efforts to block the Uri Party’s private school reform bill from passing the National Assembly, text strongly urging President Ron to veto the bill in the event of its passage, and collaborative responses from concerned organizations such as the APSK in the event of the bill’s enforcement.

The APSK suggested that each private school ask their board of directors to confirm whether they are against the bill or not and inform the APSK of their opinions by November 5. According to the APSK, by November 4, of 1,221 private school foundations, 996 (or 81.6 percent) foundations agreed to the APSK resolution.

“This is likely to trigger another dispute in and out of the education world, so we decided not to open the list of private schools that agreed. Some foundations have extended the deadline due to postponed meetings of trustees,” said an APSK spokesperson.

Yonsei University Joined-

Yonsei University held its regular meeting of trustees on October 29 and after the meeting, it sent the official document to the APSK with all 11 members’ signatures opposing the revision. It is reported that those in attendance included Bang Woo-young, the chief director and honorary president of Chosun newspaper along with other 11 directors, Yun Hyeong-seop, the supervisor and former Minister of Education and Human Resources Development with 13 constituent members, and other concerned people, including Jeong Chang-yeong, the president of Yonsei University. “At the request of the APSK, the board of directors went through a discussion and reached an unanimous agreement to the APSK’s resolution,” explained an attendant.

Concerned people of the APSK expect Yonsei University’s decision will strengthen the move opposing the revision to the Private School Law. “True, many private school foundations have been too cautious about expressing their opinions. But now, many will be influenced by Yonsei University’s decision,” said a spokesperson of a major private university in Seoul.

Yi-Young Cho Jin-Kyun Kil lycho@donga.com leon@donga.com