[EDITORIALS]Work for true educationThe Korean Teachers and Education Workers’ Union said it will approve a special resolution at a national meeting tomorrow, focusing on reforming general educational practices at school. The resolution would include using domestic produce at school cafeterias, reducing prices of supplemental educational materials, providing local study rooms for underprivileged students, supporting laws on human rights of students and resolving issues related to college entrance examinations.
The union said it decided to approve the resolution as it realized people’s criticism of the organization heightened threats to its existence. The union has been providing anti-American and pro-North Korean ideological education while opposing diverse educational reforms, including evaluation of teachers and afterclass education. As a result, the idea that the union is an barrier to the country’s educational policy has become prevalent in Korean society. Even Kim Jin-kyung, a former secretary of education and culture at the Blue House who worked for the birth of the union, and Kim Gui-shik, a former chairman of the union and current head of the board of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, have publicly criticized the union.
It is still too early, however, to say that the union has changed. A union spokesman said, “We would oppose the government’s bonus plan based on teachers’ individual accomplishments, a new teachers’ evaluation plan and a free trade agreement with the United States if the subjects were raised at the meeting tomorrow.” The union should remember that if it keeps going in this direction, there will not be much room left for it in our society.
There are many practical issues to be resolved in our educational fields. Most of all, much work should be done to improve student’s academic abilities. The union should remember that if it does not follow global change but instead sticks to an old-fashioned ideology and egalitarianism, it will cause not only the destruction of the country’s education system but also the retrogression of the country.
The union’s goal was “true education.” This is neither collective selfishness nor ideological education. When the union really works for “true education,” our country’s education will be better and the union’s future will be brighter. Unless the union truly changes its direction, tomorrow’s resolution will be condemned as just a disguising strategy to escape from a crisis. We expect the union to make a wise decision.