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Efforts under Way to Enable Direct Election of Municipal and Provincial Superintendents of Education

Efforts under Way to Enable Direct Election of Municipal and Provincial Superintendents of Education

Posted December. 28, 2004 23:03,   


A plan to allow the appointment of superintendents of educational affairs in cities and provinces, responsible for the overall management of local educational administrations, to be determined by the residents’ direct vote is currently being pursued. In addition, the Board of Education in each city or province will be integrated with the education-related standing committee in the relevant municipal or provincial council to be unified into a special “Standing Committee on Education.”

The Presidential Committee on Government Innovation and Decentralization (Chairman Yoon Sung-sik) announced on December 28 that it has drafted a bill to reform the local autonomous educational system, which outlines the above changes.

According to the Decentralization Committee, the post of superintendent of educational affairs, currently elected by the members of each school’s board of administration, will be elected simultaneously with the governors of each city or province by the residents themselves starting in 2006.

This is to prevent such negative side-effects as corruption, partisanship, and division in the election of superintendents, as well as to allow the residents’ demand for education to be sufficiently reflected in local educational administration.

The Decentralization Committee also decided to fill the Standing Committee on Education with an equal number of municipal/provincial council members and education specialists, with the latter directly voted to office by residents at the same time as the superintendents of educational affairs.

By unifying the Boards of Education with the various education-related standing committees within local councils, the committee expects to eliminate the problems arising from double or conflicting authorities among such bodies.

At the same time, the Decentralization Committee also plans to authorize the heads of cities, counties, and districts to implement measures to improve the facilities and environment of local schools according to the demands of local residents.

The bill will be proposed at the December 29 public hearing to be held at the Main Auditorium of the Central Government Complex Annex, then finalized by February of next year after opinions have been culled over two or three occasions.

Jong-Dae Ha orionha@donga.com