CHUNCHEON, Sept. 14 (Korea Bizwire) – Compared to Seoul, where education grads are lined up around the block to take the teacher certification exam, Gangwon Province is having trouble putting bodies in seats in order to fill 100 elementary school teaching positions by February.
As desperate times call for desperate measures, both the National Council of Governors of Education and the Gangwon-do Office of Education are pulling out the stops to divert teacher candidates from the bright lights of Seoul to the provincial delights of Gangwon.
The National Council announced it will tweak the existing home advantage of teacher certification exam takers by increasing the addition of “bonus credit points” given to exam takers from local universities from to six percentage points from the original three. For out of province exam takers, the council agreed to bestow three bonus credit percentage points.
The reforms were initially intended to go into effect next year, but concerns over the confusion the sudden changes might cause persuaded the council to delay the implementation to 2019.
The delay in rolling out the reforms places Gangwon in a bit of a pickle, however. With teachers aware of the impending changes, the province is concerned that they may see 2018 as the final opportunity to transfer to a school in Seoul. Starting in 2019, they would be at a disadvantage due to their status as out of province applicants.
That and three straight years of poor showings for its elementary school teacher certification exams are the reasons behind the educational department’s creative recruitment endeavors. A music video titled “You, Yes You Are a Gangwon-do Teacher” featuring actual teachers dancing and singing as well as recruitment posters saying “101 Things Only Gangwon-do Teachers Can Do” have been released in order to change the commonly-held preconception of the province as a cultural backwater.
With the deadline for applying for the elementary school teacher certification exams between September 25 and 29, Gangwon Education officials must hope that their efforts are not in vain.
Meanwhile, media headlines like “How bad must it be that they resort to making a music video” offer a glimpse of what outsiders feel regarding the province’s plight.