[LETTERS to the editor]Don’t let profit motive block school

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[LETTERS to the editor]Don’t let profit motive block school

I find it interesting that Mr. Choi (“Hopes for foreign school wane,” May 28) cites control of the curriculum as a major stumbling block to the opening of the British International School Seoul on the Yongsan site. He refers in vague terms to “the international standard” (as opposed to “British”). I would suggest that this is pure sophistry.
What distinguishes an internationally minded school from others? Well, the curriculum would need to emphasize studies in world history and literature, world cultures, stressing the interdependence of nations and people and de-emphasizing the perspective of only one country or of a select region. This would principally involve offering programs such as the International Baccalaureate (which BISS proposes to do).
What [Mr. Choi] really wants is absolute control of staffing, salaries and crucially, profits. This is hardly the spirit of the intended school which is designed to attract foreign investors into Korea. Korea will get jobs, investment and crucially, international credibility, by providing international education institutions the autonomy required to deliver a world-class education.
Korea’s reputation is in tatters in the international education arena. Word has gotten out that a job offered in Korea may not be honored ― all the teachers who were offered jobs at BISS have been told not to come here now. It is hard enough getting people to come to Korea. I say, “just go by the international standard” and make sure the jobs teachers are offered are not withdrawn because of squabbling over spoils!

by Daniel Knight
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