[EDITORIALS]Mr. Yoon should resignThe school community is mired in chaos after the government gave in to the demands of the Korea Teachers’ and Educational Workers’ Union and postponed the implementation of certain aspects of the National Education Information System database. The government solution worsened the confusion and confrontation between school administrators and progressive teachers.
Superintendents across the nation have already expressed their opposition to the government’s decision and the Korean Federation of Teachers Associations, another teachers group, is calling on Yoon Deok-hong, the education minister, to resign. The federation also plans a collective leave and a signature drive. School principals, non-union teachers, members of boards of education and some parents’ organizations are also holding the minister responsible. This makes everyone except the Korea Teachers’ and Educational Workers’ Union opposed to the government’s decision. The school community became a place for power struggles.
Mr. Yoon, who has dealt with the matter without principle, is entirely responsible for the current chaos. By trying to resolve an educational matter through political logic and compromise, he exacerbated the confusion rather than providing a solution. Mr. Yoon also failed to fulfill his role as an arbitrator by taking sides with the ideologically slanted Korea Teachers’ and Educational Workers’ Union when the two rival organizations were sharply pitted against one another. Educational policies devised and implemented through a “political decision,” as Mr. Yoon defends his stance, cannot possibly manage Korea’s education system.
Mr. Yoon has kept his own staff guessing with his frequent policy reversals, and now the Education Ministry may not be able to carry out its tasks properly; not only the school community but also officials of the Education Ministry oppose the minister.
Mr. Yoon must resign voluntarily. The president should not guarantee his ministers five years of tenure; saying that indicates that he does not understand the seriousness of this matter.