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Police, FTC to join efforts to uproot ‘private education cartel’

Police, FTC to join efforts to uproot ‘private education cartel’

Posted June. 23, 2023 08:13,   

Updated June. 23, 2023 08:13


The Ministry of Education, the Fair Trade Commission, and the National Police Agency will make joint efforts to root out unfairness related to private education. Previously, it was city and provincial education offices that oversaw cracking down on unfair practices in the private education sector. However, President Yoon Suk Yeol’s demonstration of the resolve to eradicate the “private education cartel” over unfair privileges has initiated a pan-ministerial approach.

The Ministry of Education held a pan-governmental meeting for a joint response to private education cartels and corruption on Thursday with the Fair Trade Commission, National Police Agency, Seoul Office of Education, and Gyeonggi Office of Education at the Seoul Government Complex, in response to President Yoon’s call to action on eradication of a back-scratching alliance of private education businesses.

“The vicious cycle of private education aggravating competition by feeding off the anxiety of students and parents, which in turn weakens public education, needs to be broken,” the vice minister of education presiding over the meeting said. “The government will not condone the situation where private institutes take advantage of the connection with the competent authority for the college entrance examination,” he said.

The online complaint center will be operational from Jun. 22 to Jul. 6, specifically designed to receive reports concerning false and exaggerated advertisements promoting excessively priced private education and unreasonable demands for tuition fees and teaching materials. By clicking on the banner located on the education ministry’s webpage, individuals will be directed to a complaint form where they can provide relevant information. Students, parents, and citizens who have experienced disadvantages due to private teaching institutes or personal tutors are encouraged to file complaints. Real-time monitoring of private education advertisements will also be implemented.

The education ministry will directly handle the reports. In the past, education offices would receive the reports and issue penalties such as suspensions or registration cancellations. Depending on the severity of the violations, further inspections by the Fair Trade Commission or investigations by the National Police Agency may ensue. “If a reported matter is discovered to be in violation of the Fair Trade Act, relevant ministries and agencies will take appropriate actions,” stated an official from the education ministry.