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Whistleblowers on Educational Corruption to Get Rewards

Posted July. 06, 2009 10:17,   


Residents in the capital who report teacher corruption such as receiving bribes to the city government can earn rewards of up to 30 million won (23,600 U.S. dollars), the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education said yesterday.

To root out irregularities among teachers, the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education has passed a new ordinance rewarding whistleblowers. Those who report teachers and other education officials who accept bribes will receive up to 10 times the amount of the bribes.

When reporting teachers who take illegal advantage of their positions or do financial harm to the office, whistleblowers will get 20 percent of the fines imposed on violators.

For reporting irregularities that undermine the integrity of the office, an appropriate reward will be given according to the nature of the violations. The exact amount will be decided by a seven-official committee and not exceed 30 million won (23,600 dollars).

Reports can be made by phone, fax, mail and a Web page called “clean report center” on the education office’s homepage (www.sen.go.kr).

A Seoul city education official said, “However trivial a teacher’s irregularity might be, the social ramifications are staggering,” adding, “The new ordinance will help eliminate various types of corruption in schools.”

The spokesman of the Korea Federation of Teacher’s Associations criticized the new measure. Kim Dong-seok said, “Presents or bribes given to teachers by parents should be eliminated. But a reward system for whistle blowing, however, will hurt teacher pride because it will treat teachers as potential criminals.”

The Incheon Office of Education in February implemented a similar ordinance to Seoul’s.

The National Assembly sought to enact a law to ban school bribes in 2006, but failed due to strong opposition from the education sector.