Representatives of The Irish Government’s Department of Education and The INTO (Irish Teachers Organization) have advised its qualified teachers to “exercise extreme caution” when accepting a teaching contract in South Korea. It goes on on to state that “due to the overwhelming number of complaints routinely received by various Irish government departments from Irish teachers in connection with their experiences in this country, we feel unable to recommend it to our citizens as a safe or viable career option and furthermore impossible to resist the conclusion that the current Hagwon system in South Korea is endemically corrupt”.
Endemically corrupt, indeed. Nicely spotted.
(‘hagwons’ are private schools (primarily for English), by the way, of which there are literally tens of thousands in the ROK)


Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Is the South Korean system really that bad? My experience in China taught me that the natives aren’t so bad, it’s the westerners who are over there administering the places that screw you.
    Then again, Korea and China are like apples and oranges, so my experience doesn’t really shed any light on this, now does it?

  2. Although from what I hear things have actually gotten better in the hagwons over the past 5 years or so since I was a slave in the English mines – which makes this report from the Irish government all that much funnier, to me – there are still horror stories aplenty to be heard. And it’s overwhelmingly the Korean bosses that are the problem – very very few schools allow foreigners to hold any positions of power or status whatsoever, that I’ve seen. This, too, is changing, but not quickly, and in most cases not more than cosmetically. It interests me that China would be different in this, as I’ve always assumed that Korea combines the worst attributes of the Chinese and the worst of the Japanese to forge its unique brand of unpleasantness…

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