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  • JLCutler
  • Veteran

    • 164

    • August 31, 2011, 02:50:38 pm
    • Seoul, Korea
I work for a private, Confucian high school.  Our last principal was sacked for committing every one of the offenses listed in the article.  He used school funds to go out day-drinking several times a week; he took bribes; he used my young, pretty co-teacher to help him compose English text messages to his mistress in the Philippines; he was often drunk at 8am; he bullied teachers to keep them servile.  He got away with it for years until a teacher contacted the Foundation (the guys who run the organization that funds the school) with evidence.  Teachers were terrified while the investigation was going on because they were positive that if the principal survived he would take revenge.  The Foundation decided to fire him, though, once proof of him taking bribes from contract teachers surfaced.  The rest of the offenses wasn't enough, I guess.  The principal resigned, however, before he could be fired, thus allowing him to keep his pension.  We have a new principal now.  He's all but invisible.  People are much happier.

The thing is, the behavior exhibited by our old principal is extreme yet somewhat common here.  So many school executives abuse their powers and I think one would be hard-pressed to find a single public school where neither the vice principal nor the principal is guilty of at least one of the offenses listed in this article.

A couple more things:

"Anyone accused of bribery, sexual offenses, test score manipulation and embezzlement in school funds will be excluded from the interview."

Does this mean accused or convicted?  Is it poor wording or what?

"Under the revision, teachers must obtain a state certificate of level three or higher for Korean history to be vice principals."

Similar things are in the works for teachers, too.  It smacks of out-and-out nationalism to me.

Thoughts?  Opinions?  Stories about vice principals or principals who are guilty?

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2014/10/116_166169.html


  • Aqvm
  • Expert Waygook

    • 573

    • March 09, 2012, 06:55:24 am
Re: Immoral Teachers Unable to Be Vice Principals (Korea Times article)
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2014, 09:12:37 am »
My VP is probably the most upstanding guy I've met in Korea. I've seen plenty of corruption around, but my VP is hardworking and awesome. He does things like take out the trash in the office and help students carry boxes of books and stuff like that. I do a teacher's English class with him and he's always talking about how he wants to open a children's bookstore when he retires.

I think that the points system for promoting teachers to higher administration pretty much breeds corruption, though. People who teach at rural schools know a lot about this, because teachers who have their eyes on promotion seek out rural schools because they get bonus points for teaching a stint in the countryside.

There are a few teachers around who take on as much responsibility as they can, in order to earn more points, but pretty much do a bad job at everything because they don't have time/don't really care. They just want the points. The discipline at one of my schools has gone to muck because the teacher who volunteered to be in charge of discipline is one of these types. Said teacher is all about pouring drinks for the other admins during dinners, and bringing in fruit for the teacher's office, but pretty much blows off every real responsibility in the school. Students have told me that this teacher regularly does not attend their classes. This person will almost certainly be promoted above all of the hardworking teachers in the school, though.


  • Ley_Druid
  • The Legend

    • 2465

    • February 17, 2011, 08:36:33 am
    • Shinan-Gun, Jeollanam-Do, South Korea
Re: Immoral Teachers Unable to Be Vice Principals (Korea Times article)
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2014, 01:24:28 pm »
Interesting, but the problem is that they should also be able to fire vice principals and principals who are convicted of the same. Usually corruption is most obvious from the principals. I have seen a lot of public and a few private schools, and I would say that about half of public schools and most private schools have a serious problem with all of these things listed. The problem is that any teacher that brings evidence against someone they work with will most likely also not be allowed to be promoted.


  • JLCutler
  • Veteran

    • 164

    • August 31, 2011, 02:50:38 pm
    • Seoul, Korea
Re: Immoral Teachers Unable to Be Vice Principals (Korea Times article)
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2014, 02:03:12 pm »
Interesting, but the problem is that they should also be able to fire vice principals and principals who are convicted of the same. Usually corruption is most obvious from the principals. I have seen a lot of public and a few private schools, and I would say that about half of public schools and most private schools have a serious problem with all of these things listed. The problem is that any teacher that brings evidence against someone they work with will most likely also not be allowed to be promoted.

You know, this is why I wasn't expecting anything to occur with my previous principal but the Foundation at my private school did indeed get rid of him.  I think a big part of it has to do with the fact that the school is supposed to espouse Confucian values and the principal embodied the exact opposite of how a leader should treat his subordinates.  The teacher who brought the evidence to the Foundation is getting married this weekend.  I'm going.  How this drama would've played out at a public school is a matter of conjecture and I totally agree that corrupt executives should be held under the same requirements as the wannabes.

Aqvm, I can't tell you how nice it was to read what you had to say about your VP.  That's outstanding and I wish more would follow an example such as his.


  • englishrose
  • Expert Waygook

    • 662

    • June 24, 2013, 07:27:22 am
    • South Korea
Re: Immoral Teachers Unable to Be Vice Principals (Korea Times article)
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2014, 02:05:23 pm »
Am I the only one shocked that this is news? The implication is that up to now using school funds to build an extension to your house or feeling up the students was not necessarily a barrier to promotion.

Is this somehow seen as a great step? "Watch out immoral teachers! We won't fire you if convicted of embezzlement or sexual assault but you won't be able to become a VP. You will have to settle for a continued career with full benefits and pension. Who's laughing now?". Talk about low expectations.




  • Archeon
  • Expert Waygook

    • 773

    • August 21, 2012, 02:36:28 pm
    • Ulsan
Re: Immoral Teachers Unable to Be Vice Principals (Korea Times article)
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2014, 03:31:28 pm »
Am I the only one shocked that this is news?

If you are shocked by these... revelations... then you have a bit of Korea to learn about. 8) :wink:  :evil:

Most people who have been here at least a year know how the wheels are turning here.

The fact that someone, somewhere, with a little clout is now trying to move the system in a somewhat more objectively moral direction with less corruption is nice though.
I will tolerate your existence only so far as it doesn't infringe on science.


  • JLCutler
  • Veteran

    • 164

    • August 31, 2011, 02:50:38 pm
    • Seoul, Korea
Re: Immoral Teachers Unable to Be Vice Principals (Korea Times article)
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2014, 10:32:39 pm »
Am I the only one shocked that this is news?

If you are shocked by these... revelations... then you have a bit of Korea to learn about. 8) :wink:  :evil:

Most people who have been here at least a year know how the wheels are turning here.

The fact that someone, somewhere, with a little clout is now trying to move the system in a somewhat more objectively moral direction with less corruption is nice though.

I think you might have missed his sarcasm but the rest of what you had to say is on point, especially about how someone trying to move the system in a moral direction--but it's like how I think about the thread about the Seoul Education Minister who sees the ridiculousness of Korean education...unfortu nately, how can it change before changing the culture itself?  The idea is too big.


  • englishrose
  • Expert Waygook

    • 662

    • June 24, 2013, 07:27:22 am
    • South Korea
Re: Immoral Teachers Unable to Be Vice Principals (Korea Times article)
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2014, 01:25:02 pm »
I agree it's a step in the right direction. However, there is a huge difference between the 2 proposals.

One involves a massive rethink of how education is run in this country and will face huge resistance. For it to work will require nothing less than a seismic change in attitudes and incredible political will to face down everyone who has a stake in the status quo. It's bold, radical and to some extent noble. If it happens then it will be genuine progress

The other is a no brainer that they should have done very, very quietly so as to avoid drawing attention to their stunning sloppiness. Banning pedos and crooks from attaining lofty heights in education is progress in the same way as a rapist using condoms is.