Dateline: Seoul, South Korea
By: Kang Shin-Wo From: Korea Times
Via: The Honor Network
How Do You Say Too Many Female Teachers In Korean?
Priority News Exchange Program News Item (PNEP)
The Seoul city education authority is seeking grounds to support a male teacher quota. The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education (SMOE) Wednesday announced that it has launched a special team to study the negative influence of female teachersâ€™ domination at schools. At the beginning of the year, SMOE proposed to the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development to set up an employment quota for male teachers. However, the ministry rejected its proposal, which was designed to remove the widening gender gap among teachers, due to insufficient evidence that a lopsided gender ratio of teachers has a negative effect on students. Also, the ministry referred the rejection to the OECD average ratio of female teachers. While the Korean average ratio of female teachers at elementary and secondary schools was 74 percent of the total and 51 percent, respectively, as of 2004, the OECDâ€™s average was 78.3 percent and 58 percent. In order to persuade the ministry again, SMOE will prove the problems of higher numbers of female teachers with the special team of eight observers consisting of university professors, elementary and secondary school teachers.
Schools continue to see a decreasing number of male teachers. By proving the negative effects on an unbalanced gender ratio of teachers, we could pass the bill of quota for male teachers,” SMOE official said. According to the ministry, four out of five newly employed teachers at elementary and secondary schools this year were women. While elementary schools hired 3,638 female teachers, accounting for 82.1 percent of the total, only 795 male teachers or 17.9 percent were hired this year. As for secondary schools, 3,246 teachers or 79.9 percent were females and 818 teachers or 20.1 percent were males. About the officeâ€™s move, teachers’ groups questioned whether its studies could be neutral. “We welcome all kinds of studies to improve the school environment for students. But this study has been initiated under the premise that female teachersâ€™ dominance could cause a negative effect on students although studies should be conducted in a fair manner,â€™â€™ said Han Jae-kab, spokesman of the Korean Federation of Teachers’ Associations. Parentsâ€™ groups are opposing the city’s policy. “Male teachers already have an admission quota for elementary teacher training universities. Moreover, we donâ€™t find any negative influences on our children trough the dominance of female teachers,â€™â€™ said Jeun Eun-ja, director of the National Association of Parents for Charm-Education.