Posted July. 27, 2009 07:26,
A domestic court yesterday struck down a price ceiling for fees charged by academic institutes as unconstitutional.
Educational authorities had been allowed to set a ceiling for such fees and penalize violating institutes with a suspension order. The ruling is expected to have significant impact on the governments crackdown on private tutoring.
The Seoul Administrative Court ruled in favor of an institute in Seouls Daechi district that had sued the Gangnam District Office of Education to withdraw its suspension order.
Given the reality that public education fails to offer satisfactory service, private education plays an equally important role in ensuring the peoples right to learn, the ruling said. Therefore, it is unconstitutional to set a unilateral price ceiling without objective standards or issue a suspension order in the private education market because such measures violate basic constitutional principles guaranteeing the peoples right to learn and own property and freedom to conduct sales activities.
The law entitles educational authorities to order academic institutes charging excessive tuition to revise their prices, but they can only exercise their rights when tuition fees are deemed exorbitantly high according to social norms.