SEOUL, Jan. 17 (Korea Bizwire) — The education ministry plans to introduce a “basic quota of teachers” to sustain small schools in rural communities where the population is declining, officials have said.
For its mid- and long-term teacher supply plan, the ministry decided to calculate the number of teachers needed by the size of the school, in addition to existing criteria such as the number of students per teacher, officials said.
With respect to this plan, it is negotiating with the Ministry of the Interior and Safety.
Thus far, when calculating how many teachers are needed, the ministry used the method of aligning the number of students per teacher with the level of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member nations.
The use of the country-based indicator makes it difficult for small schools with a limited number of students in rural areas to secure the minimum number of teachers required to maintain normal education programs.
At present, among the nation’s 229 municipal regions, 89 are designated as areas with a declining population.
The number of small schools with less than 100 students was estimated at 1,174 in such regions last year, accounting for 18.7 percent of the nation’s elementary, middle and high schools.
“If the number of teachers in areas with a declining population is reduced simply to cope with the decline in the number of students, such regions cannot afford to provide normal education,” the education ministry said.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)