Students protest plan to hire fewer teachersHundreds of education college students protested a government plan in Seoul on Friday to sharply reduce the recruitment of new elementary school teachers next year.
The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education said the previous day that teacher hiring will be cut by 88 percent because of decreases in the number of students and retiring teachers. Nationwide, new teacher positions in primary schools will decline by 40.2 percent next year, the education ministry said.
“It’s preposterous. The positions will be axed to 12 percent of this year’s. It’s even less than one-third of our prospective graduates at the university,” a representative of students from the Seoul National University of Education said during a rally in front of the Seoul education office. Some 700 students took part in the protest. They called on the education authorities to reconsider the plan and guarantee the number of openings would be enough to hire next year’s graduates.
“If the cut is really necessary and inevitable, it should proceed with sufficient notification and gradual adjustments,” the student group said.
The abrupt reduction runs counter to the government’s pledge to increase jobs for youth and the purpose of the state-run college specializing in pedagogy, it added.
Student representatives were to meet Superintendent Cho Hee-yeon of Seoul’s education office later in the day.