Schools accused of bribes for students’ placement

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Schools accused of bribes for students’ placement

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office launched an investigation into 11 private elementary schools on charges of allegedly taking bribes from parents in return for granting admission to their children.

Prosecutors began the investigation after the Seoul Education Office tipped off the prosecution about allegations that parents who wanted to send or transfer their children to the prestigious private schools paid a large sum of money for the development of the schools.

The Seoul Education Office handed the prosecution its audit documents, which found eight out of 11 private elementary schools in Seoul received such money from parents.

According to the education office, among the eight schools, one elementary school pocketed 614 million won ($542,882) in the last six years by accepting school development funds from 86 parents in return for accepting their children in the school through extra enrollment. The education office said each parent paid between 2 million and 20 million won.

Though the Seoul education office couldn’t find similar allegations against the two other elementary schools, they are also suspected of money-for-admission, as each school exceeded the number of entrants by 260 and 100 students respectively.

Prosecutors added another school to the probe list as a parent reported that the school demanded money for transferring his children to the school.

The education office this year conducted an audit of 38 private elementary schools in Seoul and found 11 are involved in money-for-admission suspicions between 2005 and 2010.


By Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]

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