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Rep. Asks for Members`s Names of Education Union

Posted March. 12, 2010 09:45,   


The government will form a list of teachers belonging to the Korean Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union at the request of a ruling Grand National Party lawmaker, who plans to release the list.

With a few months left before school superintendents are elected in the June 2 local elections, the potential release of the list could be a political hot potato.

The Government Legislation Ministry yesterday suggested an authoritative interpretation, saying, “The data provided by teachers joining teachers’ organizations or unions, including the names of schools and teachers, the subjects they teach, and the organizations to which they belong are not considered personal information. This is likely to significantly violate human rights.”

“If the Education, Science and Technology Ministry is asked to provide the list to a lawmaker, it should accept the request.”

It added, “The information on teachers’ organizations or unions to which teachers of our children belong significantly affects students’ right to learn. It is also related to the people’s right to know.”

In August last year, ruling party lawmaker Cho Jeon-hyeok, also a member of the parliamentary committee on education, science and technology, asked the Education Ministry to form a list of the education union’s members.

The Education Ministry, however, asked the Government Legislation Ministry whether the submission of the list would be legitimate. In response, the latter suggested an authoritative interpretation allowing it.

An Education Ministry official said, “Because the Government Legislation Ministry suggested an authoritative interpretation, we’ll hand over the list to the lawmaker after passing through the proper procedures. It’ll take less than a month to form the list with help from municipal and provincial educational offices and submit it to Rep. Cho.”

Cho said, “I’ll release the list on the Internet after considering legal issues.”

kimkihy@donga.com kini@donga.com