A shameful choice for education
It was revealed on June 24 that Kim had bought 30,000 shares of INet-School, an online educational service for elementary and secondary students, valued at 39.7 million won ($38,200), in late May and sold them on June 13 after he was nominated for the position. When the Blue House began verifying qualifications for ministerial candidates after the Sewol ferry disaster, Kim was aware that the investment was inappropriate when he bought and sold the stocks. It is not proper conduct for someone being considered to head the Education Ministry. A 32-year-old middle school teacher named Nam said, “I am afraid that the children may learn the mind-set that if he gets the job, he sells the stocks, and if he doesn’t get the job, he keeps the stocks.”
On the same day, Kim’s exaggerated resume was also disclosed. Lawmaker Bae Jae-jung of the New Politics Alliance for Democracy found that Kim had claimed to have served as a “special researcher at the Seoul National University Teachers College Education Institute” when he was appointed as an adviser to the National Advisory Council for Education, Science and Technology in 2010. However, according to the university, Kim had been a teacher’s assistant at the teachers college from 1979 to 1983.
Other allegations include publishing his student’s paper under his name and plagiarizing his own doctoral thesis when he was evaluated for promotion to associate professor. His conduct violates the ethics codes of the Korea National University’s Education Institute, where he was the director, the Korean Educational Research Association, where he was the chairman, and the Korean Educational Administration Society.
Holding inappropriate stocks and plagiarism should be key parts of the verification process. If the Blue House didn’t know, they are incompetent. If they knew and didn’t care, they are inconsiderate. The opposition is calling for Kim to withdraw and so are the Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union and other civil groups, including the Professors for Democracy and the National Parents Association for True Education.
Admission is revoked if a student plagiarizes or includes false information on statements when applying for college. That’s why citizens don’t think Kim would have the authority if he serves as education minister. The Blue House and Kim need to realize that he would be a shameful minister who doesn’t deserve respect from the students.
JoongAng Ilbo, June 26, Page 29
*The author is a national news writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.
BY KIM KI-HWAN