Police, FTC join crackdown on hagwon irregularitiesBy Park Jun-hee
Published : June 22, 2023 - 17:53
The Education Ministry said Thursday it has teamed up the police and the market watchdog, the Fair Trade Commission, to identify irregularities in operations of, hagwon, or private academies and institutions nationwide for next two weeks.
The ministry started receiving reports on hagwon that provide one-on-one classes, run false advertisements, promote excessive spending on private education, and charge separately for textbooks. The reports can be filed on the Education Ministry's website until July 6.
Referring to private education as a “powerful cartel for self-interest” that has only benefited private academies, Vice Education Minister Jang Sang-yoon stressed that now is the time to “end the vicious circle of upping pressure on parents to spend in private education and private academies profiteering from them and deteriorating public education.”
According to reports, several high school teachers in Daechi-dong -- the neighborhood in Seoul’s Gangnam district known as the mecca of private education -- sell above-level questions from Suneung mock exams to hagwon. "Killer questions" for the Korean language subject are reportedly sold at approximately 250,000 won, while Mathematics questions are priced at about 500,000 won.
“The unfair private education cartel is what the government must eradicate. It won’t be solved quickly, but the government is committed to solving this issue,” Jang said Thursday during the response council meeting to combat irregularities in the private education industry.
The ministry will roll out specific measures to reduce private education expenses on Monday.
The decision comes as the country saw a stark increase in private education spending, hitting a record-high 26 trillion won ($20.1 billion) last year, with the highest spending on English and Mathematics.
Yoon departs for Amsterdam for regional security, chip cooperation
Korea to set up commission to combat supply chain disruptions
Could ex-leaders of rival parties join hands to launch a new force?