SEOUL, Jan. 28 (Korea Bizwire) — The Korean government is planning to introduce a state-run test for the qualification of child day-care teachers amidst the recent public anger caused by an employee who physically abused children at her day-care center.
According to a plan devised by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MW), day-care workers will have to complete a course of several classes, and then pass a personality test in order to be able to take the main qualification test. The Korean government is planning to license teachers via the state-run test next year.
Under current Korean regulations, anyone with a secondary school degree who completes a one-year intensive course of 51 credits at a university or online university can earn a certificate of day-care teaching. One only needs to take one 3 credit-mandatory field practice class to qualify to get a job.
The rationale behind this rather hasty one-year online course system was originally to help overcome a lack of day-care teachers, and provide job opportunities for those who could not afford time for full-time or day-time university courses.
The government is planning to expand the mandatory field classes and ultimately introduce a graduate-only system for day-care teaching qualifications. For now, the Korean government is mulling over whether the new qualification should be a sufficient condition or a necessary condition for the qualification of day-care teaching.
Moreover, policymakers are facing a problem of equity among existing licensed teachers and to-be-qualified teachers through the state-run test. According to the Korea Institute of Child Care and Education’s survey on 287 child care experts in 2014, 60 percent of the respondents stood against the establishment of state-run test while 40 percent agreed with the idea.
Kim Myoung-Soon, professor of Child and Family Studies at Yonsei University, said that existing licensed day-care teachers should be provided with re-education to have equal competencies with licensed teachers via the test. She also said that the relatively easy course of the current qualification system has turned out to be an ineffective way of qualifying teachers, which led to poor work environments and low wages for day-care teachers.
The MW also suggested mandatory use of CCTV at daycare centers, which also guarantees parental rights to view recorded clips, and the obligatory storage of recorded clips for one month.
By J.W. Choi (firstname.lastname@example.org)