CHUNGJU, Nov.11 (Korea Bizwire) – At a popular nursery school, parents waited quietly as a lottery to determine which children would enter kicked off. You could cut the tension with a knife.
In the end, only 25 children were selected to enter the class for five-year-olds, even though 118 applied. The 93 parents whose children were not selected had no choice but to turn around and walk away. Those who were given waiting numbers got in line again to put their child’s name on a waiting list.
Unlike kindergartens affiliated with elementary schools, where the director is the principal of the school, independent nursery schools have a director who majored in early childhood education, making them more popular among parents.
As a result, among the 21 independent nursery schools in the Chungbuk area, 20 nursery schools have been randomly selecting the applicants who want to enter, just like a lottery.
The affiliated kindergartens are no different. Competition is lower than independent nursery schools, but they also go through a lottery process among applicants to decide who enters.
Officials say that the ‘war to enter kindergarten’ is expected to intensify, as the government is planning to raise the bar for the qualifications required to open independent nursery schools.
The Ministry of Education is revising a draft of the ‘Early Childhood Education Act’, so that elementary school affiliated kindergartens will only be able to have a minimum of 1/8 of the number of students at the elementary school they are affiliated with, instead of 1/4 which is the current bar.
Under these new rules, the number of small kindergartens that are affiliated with elementary schools will increase, while opening an independent nursery school will become more difficult.
Experts in the education field point out that the policy is regressing against the demand at actual education sites.
Officials from the local education office say that the revision is a form of bureaucracy, only seeing the total number of children to be admitted instead of the tipping-point effect that is occurring among certain private independent nursery schools. It has been said that policies should be made so that every parent can at least have a chance to choose which kindergarten they want to send their children to.
By Francine Jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)