High-Priced Private Tuition Should Be RegulatedMinister of Education Moon Yong-lin held exhaustive talks following the government's announcement that it would legalize private tutoring in this country. Minister Moon also met with nine high school principals from Seoul, to dicuss ways of regulating private lessons and the formation of an oversight committee.
A similar committee was formed in 1998, with the former Minister of Education Lee Hae-chan appointing Minister Moon, then Seoul National University professor, to head the group. The committee was made up of 19 individuals from various fields. The committee was responsible for controlling the high price of private tutoring and restoring public trust in the education system.
Former Minister Lee promised at the time, "We will think of every possible means to cut the price of private education."
He planned to set standards in private tutoring within six months, but failed to do so.
This year, the government is promising the same thing.
"Students taking high-priced private lessons will be investigated for tax evasion and will be punished accordingly."
The government should first take responsibility for their inaction since 1998. They have done little to eradicate expensive private tutoring.
While the Ministry of Education is still discussing a standard price for such such lessons, some politicians have provided useful answers.
"When the price of private tutoring exceeds the price that would be charged by a public teacher, the action should be illegal," suggested Lee Hae-chan of the Millennium Democratic Party.
An official with the ministry says, "We cannot just wait around for the countermeasures committee to come up with some kind of conclusion."
One professor on the committee points out, "It seems that the ministry is only concentrating on regulations, when in fact, they should be concentrating on the fundamental problems with public education."
by Kang Hong-joon