SEOUL, Jan. 10 (Korea Bizwire) — More than 18.8 trillion won (US$16.8 billion) will be invested over the next five years to create a safer and cleaner school environment in South Korea.
Among the projects, 500 billion won (US$446.9 million) will be set aside for renovating traditional classrooms with desks and chairs into next-generation playgrounds.
The Ministry of Education announced its five-year school renovation plan on Wednesday.
The plan includes replacing old HVAC systems, as well as windows and doors, with newer and more efficient products to prevent classrooms from getting either too cold or too hot.
Old toilets will be replaced based on the gender composition among students and teachers. Old lights will be replaced with LED lamps, and chairs, desks, and other school necessities will be replaced with KS-certified products.
For a safer school environment, school buildings that have been categorized as hazardous in disaster situations will go through maintenance and renovation over the next two years.
The plan is to address 200 school buildings over the next five years.
Schools that fail to meet the requirements set up for school dormitories and fireproof facilities will also be subject to renovation.
Sandwich panel walls or buildings that were built using the Dryvit Method will be replaced. Specialized schools and kindergarten buildings that use the Dryvit Method will be replaced with new heat insulating materials by 2023.
In addition, sprinklers will be installed in all kindergartens and specialized schools larger than 300㎡ as obligated by the law.
The Ministry of Education also plans to create innovative space for schools, which will involve creating classrooms that can stimulate the imagination of students in a variety of classes.
This includes open public spaces for exhibitions or individual studying, as well as lounges shaped like an attic or a cell that can stimulate the creativity and sensibility of the students.
The ministry will complete the ongoing innovative space projects by the first half of this year, after which it will come up with standard space models for nationwide distribution by next year.
“We need a transition in our understanding that school is part of our children’s lives,” said Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae. “We will make sure that the ministry provides adequate policy guidance and sufficient funding to make the initiatives work.”
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)