Voluntary Retirement for Teachers on Rise amid Pandemic | Be Korea-savvy

Voluntary Retirement for Teachers on Rise amid Pandemic


A teacher tests an online education system at an elementary school in southern Seoul on March 30, 2020. (Yonhap)

A teacher tests an online education system at an elementary school in southern Seoul on March 30, 2020. (Yonhap)

SUWON, Jan. 10 (Korea Bizwire)The protracted COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a major change in teaching methods, leading to an increase in the number of teachers applying for voluntary retirement.

According to the Gyeonggi Province Office of Education, the number of teaching faculty (teachers, vice principals and principals) at the public schools within the province who applied for voluntary retirement has been on an upward trend, rising from 779 in 2017 to 1,127 in 2021.

“Since the number of teachers who applied for voluntary retirement this year was higher than expected, we’re now looking at the budget implications.” said an official at the education office.

The primary factor behind the hike in the number of teachers looking for voluntary retirement is the change in teaching environment caused by the prolonged pandemic.

“Young teachers are good at teaching classes with Zoom and writing on digital blackboards using tablet PCs. I feel a sense of shame since I have difficulty using Zoom for class.” a 56-year-old teacher from a middle school in Hwaseong said.

He recently applied for voluntary retirement.

According to a survey conducted by the Korean Federation of Teachers’ Association of 7,991 teachers across the country, 85.8 percent of the respondents said that they were having more difficulty conducting educational activities than before the pandemic.

In response to a question asking about the biggest difficulty or stress caused by the pandemic, 20.9 percent picked “implementation of remote classes and effort to alleviate the learning gap,’ followed by ‘management and operation of academic calendar and educational programs’ (14.2 percent).

J. S. Shin (js_shin@koreabizwire.com)

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