Officials push for footage availability for parents

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Officials push for footage availability for parents

In the latest efforts by authorities to devise measures to prevent child abuse in local day care centers, the ruling Saenuri Party and key government officials announced Tuesday that they will push ahead with legalizing parents’ access to CCTV footage from those facilities.

Also mentioned were plans to hire part-time assistants to help full-time teachers balance their workloads. All expenses, which are equivalent to some 200 to 300 billion won, or as much as $275 million, would be fully covered by the state.

In attempting to explain why teachers sometimes snap on young toddlers, local educational pundits have frequently pointed to the fact that so many staff members are overworked.

At a Tuesday meeting at the National Assembly, Saenuri representatives and officials from the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family said they will make CCTV installments compulsory in every day care center nationwide.

Parents may also be privy to the recordings in instances where they believe their children might be subject to any physical abuse. Penalties for disregarding that rule have yet to be discussed.

Officials also pledged to negotiate with the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) to revise the Infant and Child Care Act to include their proposals shaped earlier this week.

The NPAD previously endorsed legalizing CCTV installments, saying last week that it would pass a relevant bill next month during a provisional session of the National Assembly.

Other plans relayed on Tuesday include a double financial reward for those who report child abuse cases in day care centers, from the current 10 million won to 20 million won.

Those found to overlook those incidents will also be slapped with a 10 million won fine, higher than the current 5 million won penalty.

Authorities added that they plan to require day care centers to disclose information on the make and number of CCTV devices installed in their establishment, and run child abuse prevention programs for the teaching staff.

In regard to plans to replace the current authorization system for day care center teachers, which is now primarily based on a credit-point training course, authorities said they will put a state exam up for negotiation with opposition lawmakers.

Qualifying to take the national exam will likely be contingent on whether an applicant completed character education courses and passed a personality test.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN [selee@joongang.co.kr]


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