[LETTERS to the editor]We need good teachers, period.
The necessity of a quota to secure places for male teachers has come up again in Korea as more and more female teachers are hired. However, the not-so-fresh system is not an alternative plan as well as a proper solution to an excess of female teachers. I grant that the insufficiency of male teachers will bring some problems. Male teachers can more effectively contribute to the socialization of students. In addition, they can help school authorities better manage their schools and students. However, it is not easy for me to agree to the quota system bringing more male teachers to schools.
The shortage of male teachers is not due to discrimination between men and women in the education sector.
It is due to a long-standing Korean custom: male chauvinism.
Korean women in general have suffered from unfair treatment in the regular labor market, so they started to prefer the teaching profession because it has a relatively fair employment system.
Regardless of the cause and effect, some people still insist there should be equal numbers of male and female teachers.
I think a quota system to increase the number of male teachers is just a temporary expedient.
Under the system, even though abilities are not good enough to merit appointment as a teacher, more male teachers will be hired. This policy will lead to a lower quality of education.
We should pick out the most promising students. With enough efforts, we also have to try to attract more applicants with better benefits and treatment.
Kang Tae-jung, professor, Chung-Ang University