[News Briefing] ATEK invites discussion following the report on native teachers

Posted on : 2010-10-09 15:02 KST Modified on : 2010-10-09 15:02 KST

The Association for Teachers of English in Korea (ATEK) issued a statement Friday to the Hankyoreh in response to the report published by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) on the number of native English teachers at public schools in South Korea who failed to complete their one-year contracts.
The Hankyoreh and media outlets reported that over half of all native English teachers quit before completing their one-year contracts, causing some to express concern about English language education in South Korea.
However, statistics reported by various media outlets of teachers who end their contracts early ranged from as few as 5 percent to as many as 66 percent. The reason behind the wide reporting discrepancy remains unclear. Also unclear is whether the statistics took into consideration other factors of employment at the schools.
ATEK says they plan to investigate the statistics.
In addition, National Communications Officer of ATEK Rob Ouwehand said in the statement, “If educators and policy makers are concerned about the high turnover of native English teachers, ATEK invites them to take a problem solving approach to the issue.”
Ouwehand went on to say, “ATEK has hundreds of members who are public school teachers, and we would love to have discussions with them and policy-makers about practical ways to keep native teachers in their positions longer, so Korean students can benefit from their experience, and so valuable resources are not wasted finding and training replacements.”
Meanwhile, the report on native English teachers at public schools was confirmed to be an analysis by the Grand National Party(GNP) Lawmaker Kim Se-yeon and Park Yeong-a on the basis of central and a number of local education administrations, not the press release of MEST.

S. Korea to coordinate prevention of currency war
Bank of Korea Governor Kim Choong-soo told reporters Friday, "We can coordinate the issue of exchange rates, or we will face a currency war."
Kim, attending the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington, D.C., which ran through Saturday, said, "South Korea should assume its leadership as the chaircountry of the G-20 summit as we need the process of coordinating exchange rates between two countries or a number of countries involved."
Kim disputed criticism that South Korea is among the countries intervening in the foreign exchange market to depreciate the won. "South Korea is not at the core (of the currency war), although China and Japan may fall into that category," he said.
Meanwhile, South Korea's Finance Minister Yoon Jeung-hyun urged IMF Friday to implement substantive reforms to improve the effectiveness of the global lending agency and to revamp its quota and governance structure.

Assassin of Empress Myeongseong attempted cover-up
The Japanese diplomat who masterminded the 1895 assassination of Korea's last empress attempted to cover up the murder by making false reports to Japanese government and blocking communication between his diplomatic mission and its foreign ministry, according to a Japanese memoir released Friday.
Despite the diplomat's attempts, Japan's government learned of what happened to Empress Myeongseong from a report submitted by another envoy stationed in Seoul. However, the Japanese government cleared the dozens of Japanese involved in the brutal assassination of any charges, said Choi Seo-myeon, a preeminent scholar of Korea-Japan history.

Please direct questions or comments to [englishhani@hani.co.kr]

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