Seoul school for multi-ethnic kids

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Seoul school for multi-ethnic kids

Korea will open its first public alternative high school for children of multi-ethnic families in Seoul in March 2012, a presidential panel said yesterday.

The Presidential Committee on Social Cohesion, which reviews policies for immigrants wed to Koreans, said it signed a memorandum of understanding with the education ministry, the Seoul metropolitan government and the city’s educational office for the establishment of the school.

The school, named “Dasom” or “love” in antiquated Korean, will provide vocational education exclusively to children from international marriages who have difficulties attending regular Korean schools. Children will also be taught Korean language and culture.

There were a total of 42,676 school-age children from multi-ethnic families in Korea last year. About 17.2 percent, or 7,360, were not enrolled or quit schools due to language barriers, lack of understanding of Korean culture and economic difficulties, according to a government survey.

The school will run six classes for around 200 students in need of receiving technical training for future employment. The schools will be accredited, and students will have the option of pursuing further education at college, according to the committee.

The education ministry will fund the construction cost and the Seoul metropolitan government will provide scholarships for all students. The local educational office will provide the building of a vocational high school in central Seoul and open the school in March 2012, the committee said.

“We pushed for the establishment of an alternative public school because if children from multicultural families are abandoned, it could become a serious social problem,” a committee official said requesting anonymity.

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