Law regulating hagwon closer to being revised

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Law regulating hagwon closer to being revised

After being in the throes of change for two years, revisions in the country’s hagwon law aimed at controlling excessive fees was finally passed by a committee of the National Assembly.

The Legislation and Judiciary Committee announced yesterday that it has passed the revised hagwon law, which regulates the establishment and management of hagwon, or private tutoring businesses, in Korea.

Despite 94.6 percent public support for revising hagwon laws, according to a survey of 2,000 adults done by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the committee has moved slowly to approve changes.

The hagwon law was unanimously approved in March by the National Assembly’s Education, Science and Technology Committee, but it was held up for three months in the Legislation and Judiciary Committee because it was bogged down with other, more controversial bills.

During the three months, hagwon owners tried hard to stop the reforms from being approved, including holding a head shaving event in front of the National Assembly.

According to a JoongAng Ilbo’s report on Monday, the Legislation and Judiciary Committee failed to approve the revisions at a session last week as “numerous hagwon teachers visited the members of the committee saying that the revision is too excessive,” said Park Jun-seon of the Grand National Party, who is a committee member.

Under the revised bill, hagwon will have to list their fees on the Web sites of education offices throughout the country. The goal is to make all fees and costs transparent, according to the Education Ministry.

Hagwon fees have been steadily increasing, with additional fees being tacked on to the cost for things such as books, supplementary lessons and unsupervised lessons. Parents have complained that the fees are burdensome.

The reforms call for hagwon to issue receipts to parents upon payment. And the businesses will not be allowed to levy additional charges more than the amount reported to the education offices. Online hagwon, which have been classified as education facilities, will now be categorized as hagwon, allowing regulations to be applied to the online businesses. The move is meant to counter online hagwon charging exorbitant prices.

The revised bill will also require hagwon to inform parents and students of the breakdown of all fees in writing upon request. Hagwon that employ foreign teachers also must obtain a criminal background check, a medical report and proof of college diploma before hiring new foreigners.


By Yim Seung-hye [sharon@joongang.co.kr]


한글 관련 기사 [연합]

학원법 법사위 통과…학원비공개ㆍ사교육비 절감

학원비에 각종 경비도 포함…영수증 발급 의무화

학원비 공개와 사교육비 절감을 위한 학원법이 2년여의 진통 끝에 빛을 보게 됐다.

국회 법제사법위원회는 28일 오후 '학원의 설립ㆍ운영 및 과외교습에 관한 법률'(학원법) 일부 개정안을 통과시켰다. 학원법은 29일이나 30일 국회 본회의 의결을 거쳐 공포된다.

학원법은 2008년 12월부터 지난해 6월까지 발의된 정부안 1건과 의원발의안 10건 등 11건이 합쳐진 병합 법안으로 올해 3월11일 교과위 전체회의에서 가결됐다.

하지만 3개월간 학원들이 강하게 반발하면서 국회의원들을 상대로 입법 저지 로비를 벌였고, 다른 법안들을 둘러싼 국회 내 논란 등으로 법사위 심의가 계속 미뤄지다가 이날 마침내 법사위를 통과했다.

개정되는 학원법의 일부 조항은 공포 후 3개월간의 경과기간이 있으나 대부분 하반기 내에 발효된다.

이에 따라 앞으로 학부모가 학원에 내는 교습비와 일체의 추가 경비가 '교습비 등'으로 정의돼 학원비로 분류되고, 학원비 정보가 교육청 홈페이지에 공개된다.

이는 학원들이 보충수업비ㆍ자율학습비ㆍ교재비ㆍ논술지도비ㆍ모의고사비ㆍ첨삭지도비 등 각종 명목으로 붙여 학부모들의 실제 부담을 부풀렸던 편법 수강료를 학원비 안에 포함해 투명화하는 조치다.

또 학원들은 교육감에게 등록ㆍ신고한 교습비를 초과하는 금액을 징수하지 못하며, 학원비를 받으면 반드시 영수증을 발급해야한다.

아울러 신종 고액 과외인데도 평생교육시설로 분류돼 수강료나 적절치 못한 강의에 대한 규제를 받지 않았던 온라인 학원들도 학원의 범주에 포함된다.

또 학생이나 학부모가 요구하면 학원은 교습비 내역을 반드시 서면으로 고지해야 하며, 불법 교습행위를 하면 최고 300만원의 과태료를 낸다.

일명 '학파라치'라고 불리는 불법 사교육 신고센터와 신고포상금제도 법제화됐다.

이밖에 외국인 강사를 채용하는 학원장은 범죄경력 조회서, 건강 진단서, 학력 증명서 등을 반드시 제출받아야 한다.

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