SEOUL, Oct. 31 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s National Assembly on Thursday passed revised bills that provide the grounds for free high school education.
With the passage of the bill, the second and third grades of high school will be free starting in 2020 before being expanded to all grades in 2021.
The plan is expected to cover 880,000 students next year and 1.26 million students by 2021.
The education ministry in June said it will gradually introduce free education to ease family’s financial burden and guarantee the basic right to education.
Currently, only elementary and middle schools are free in South Korea.
As of June, high school students paid 1.58 million won (US$1,358) on average per year to their schools for admission fees, tuition and other costs.
The ministry estimates that the free education will cost the government 1.99 trillion won per year in 2021.
Lawmakers passed a total of 168 bills on Thursday at the first plenary session in around three months.
Other major bills approved included the law to allow provincial governments to take actions to prevent the so-called overtourism that damages the environment and breaches the privacy of local residents.
The act on the protection of children and juveniles from sexual abuse was also revised, making it mandatory for a wider range of officials, including those working at sports organizations, to report any discovery of abuse.
Copyright regulations on virtual reality and augmented reality technologies were also eased to pave the way for the development of the state-of-art tech industries.