Posted November. 04, 2009 08:47,
The Education, Science and Technology Ministry yesterday ordered Gyeonggi Province school superintendent Kim Sang-gon to implement an official order on punishing teachers who signed a declaration against the government.
Kim has refused to punish such teachers, and the move by the ministry is the first of its kind.
If he refuses to carry out the order, the ministry said it will take legal action and issue administrative and financial sanctions on him.
It is very regrettable that a superintendent who is supposed to show a good example of observing the law has failed to uphold the law. We decided to issue an order of implementation to ask him to agree on the punishment of teachers who participated in the declaration by Dec. 2 in accordance of the Local Autonomy Act, the ministry said.
Article 170, Section 1 of the act stipulates that if a head of a provincial or municipal government body neglects the law, a minister can order him or her to implement it within a certain period of time.
The ministry said Kim never asked to pass the request within a month after he received the results of a criminal investigation, and that this is a violation of the law on punishment of educational officials.
Article 170, Section 3 of the act says that if a provincial or municipal authority disagrees with an implementation order, he or she can file an appeal to the Supreme Court to have the order suspended.
If and when Kim rejects the implementation and files an appeal, the ruling might not come until June next year, when his term ends.
The ministry, however, said the appeal and administrative punishment are separate so that the ministrys administrative and financial sanctions or the invocation of its inspection right is unaffected. It plans to impose sanctions immediately whether or not Kim files an appeal.