[EDITORIALS]Corruption among educatorsIt is shocking to learn that the education superintendent of South Chungcheong pro-vince, in order to win his election to the post three years ago, secretly promised to a supporter that he would give him the right to appoint teachers in certain cities and districts. The disclosure came during an investigation by Daejeon prosecutors of bribery charges against the education board. The whole picture of the scandal is yet to be disclosed. If it is confirmed that he gave a written promise to his supporter, it is lamentable, but it will be verified that he bought the educational post by selling the appointment rights.
It is not rare to hear of absurdities involving local education superintendents. The superintendent of Gwangju wrote a letter of self-criticism admitting mistakes in appointing school principals. He promised the Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union that he would not repeat such mistakes. The anecdote indicates that appointments of teachers are not always fair.
The education autonomy law was revised in 2000, and superintendents, who formerly were elected by a small number of education board members, are now chosen by a large number of school administration council members. The purpose of change was to prevent bribery in the election of superintendents. But elections are more heated than ever, and bribery and corruption resembling anything in politics is rampant. The election of a local education chief has turned into a battleground over the right to appoint teachers.
How can they claim to be educators, when things turn out like this? Was it because of this that they remained obedient to the teachers union even when it made absurd claims? They should not indulge in old vices under the guise of education. The education authority is looking on such inappropriate behavior of educators with folded arms, pleading that it has no jurisdiction over elected civil servants. But the election should not be degraded to a system in which bad money drives out good money. The problems in the election system and the appointment of education board members must be studied and measures to prevent corruption installed.