SEJONG, Dec. 7 (Korea Bizwire) – The government will pursue measures to rid school areas of the 200 or so adult establishments that are currently in place by 2022.
Stipulations that will require proposals for the construction of highways and railways near schools to be approved after an “educational environment assessment” are also planned.
These initiatives are included in a wide-ranging framework that seeks to safeguard and preserve the areas around schools. Set forth by the Ministry of Education, the agenda was announced on December 6.
According to the Educational Environment Protection Act, the Minister of Education must devise a basic plan and establish goals every five years that will ensure students a safe environment to be educated in.
The first step is to conduct a thorough investigation into the illegal establishments located within the educational environment areas designated by the law. The authorities will then persuade the proprietors of these establishments to either move or close down their business of their own volition, with the last resort being eviction.
The Ministry of Education intends to remove all illegal establishments – 273 nationwide as of June – by 2022.
That there are “only” 273 problematic outfits represents progress; there were over 1,000 such enterprises in the early 2000s.
Despite previous success, the emergence of completely new types of businesses and evolved practices have made clearing them out more difficult for the government.
An education official said, “As outfits like phone rooms are businesses that don’t require licensing, it is difficult to prevent them from opening.”
Besides rooting out illegal establishments, the government will consider the proximity of transportation infrastructure to schools with greater scrutiny.
In Seoul’s Jungang District two years ago, parents raised an uproar over a highway that was being built only dozens of meters away from their children’s schools.
Highways and railways will join major buildings (21 stories high or occupying a total ground area of 100,000 square feet) and local maintenance work as projects to be examined through the educational environment assessment.
In addition, a “educational environment safety index” measuring the level of threat posed is scheduled to be developed by 2021.