[LETTERS to the editor]Hagwon system seriously flawed

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[LETTERS to the editor]Hagwon system seriously flawed

I concur with Limb Jae-un [“English teachers complain about certain hagwon,” Dec. 08]. I taught English in Seoul in the past, it was a richly rewarding experience. However, the burden of having to deal with the school and its policies and administration was too much to bear, so I left. I wanted so much to continue, but the administration’s attitude made it impossible.

My wife is Korean and we moved from the United States so I could teach in Korea. I held a resident alien card, so I had a bit more freedom than the usual [foreign teacher]. Nevertheless, I was still treated the same by the school. I couldn’t believe the rules and restrictions teachers, even Korean ones, were forced to live by. The schools have the teachers over a barrel. The teachers are helpless, virtual prisoners of the system, and are treated like second-class citizens.

Some minor differences may be there, but essentially there is no difference between schools. I sought help through the teachers’ legal system, but their hands are tied in most cases. The schools have the upper hand, and the teachers have no real leg to stand on. The schools can outlast and outmaneuver any move the teachers make. The schools are very, very good at rationalizing any action, regardless of the situation, because they have done it for so long.

I would love to teach in Korea again, but I would never do it under the current environment, and would not recommend it to anyone I know. Korea is my second home, and teaching English in Korea could be a beautiful thing.

Just not under the present system.

Ed Golamb, B00670@freescale.com

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