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Elementary school entry age will not be lowered, says Education Ministry

Elementary school entry age will not be lowered, says Education Ministry

Posted August. 10, 2022 07:54,   

Updated August. 10, 2022 07:54


The Education Ministry announced on Tuesday that it will practically scrap the plan to lower the elementary school entry age to five, just one day after former Vice Prime Minister and Education Minister Park Soon-ae resigned, taking responsibility for controversy over the proposal.

“The ministry views the proposal to be practically unviable,” Vice Minister of Education Jang Sang-yoon said at the National Assembly’s Education Committee meeting on Tuesday. “The government does not intent on adhering to the proposal or pushing for the plan. The proposal for lowering the elementary school entry age was only a suggestion.”

The vice minister’s remark is a one step behind from the previous position that “public discussion will be sought." Even until Monday morning, the Education Ministry said, with regard to the omission of the proposal for lowering the elementary school admission age from the list of items to be discussed in the Education Committee meeting, that it was simply an “ellipsis in the process of summarizing many points,” and that it plans to hold “public discussion and debate.” However, with the minister’s resignation in the Monday afternoon, the ministry seems to have considered that the engine for pursuing the policy has died.

With regard to the measure to abolish foreign language high schools, Vice Minister Jang said there was no mention of such a policy in a report to President Yoon Suk-yeol and that it came from a Q&A session in the briefing. “The ministry is currently examining the ways for high school system reforms, and the abolishment of foreign language high schools is currently undecided,” the vice minister told.

Meanwhile, the Education Ministry announced a plan to operate after-school programs to all elementary schools nationwide starting 2025.

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