If this comment under Brian in Jeollanamdo's post about GEPIK budget cuts is true, then it seems that it's true, the rumor going around that Korean educators are giving preference to low-level, less experienced, less qualified teachers, rather than experienced and qualified teachers. Can any other readers corroborate similar experiences?
This draws into stark relief, the pure hypocrisy of the Korean media bitching and moaning about "low quality English teachers" when that's all the ministry of education is willing to pay for.
This makes articles like these (covered by Popular Gusts) even more contemptible and disgusting: trotting out the ugly "unqualified teachers are in our classes" scapegoating trope in the aftermath of a frigging suicide, when the choices of Korean education policy and decision-makers chose to bring those 'low-quality teachers' in, is lower than low.
There is lots of talk about providing counseling and services to help others who come to Korea: specifically, the immigrant brides in the countryside -- yet instead of using the suicides of two teachers in a week to start a discussion about extending further support and services to expats having trouble adjusting, instead they gasp that some of the mentally ill and suicide prone people teaching Korea's children are foreigners. (What is the suicide rate among Korean schoolteachers? Anybody have that on hand? What about the crime rate of Korean schoolteachers against students? Hurting kids has GOT to be higher on the "education-related social outcry" totem pole than self-harm, hasn't it?)
On the other hand, I guess it makes sense that counseling is only being considered to be provided for immigrant wives, when they're the ones mothering little Korean (or at least half-Korean, which seems to count now) babies. (Don't get any ideas, English teachers.)
In the meantime, since it becomes clear that emergency and services and counseling help are clearly nowhere near the interests of the powers that be, it's time for English teachers to counsel themselves. I'm gathering sources from a few different places, and I'm preparing a post that will list them, as completely as I can. If you know of emergency counseling services that expats and English teachers can use, paid or free, in person or online, let me know.
Re: low quality English teachers:
You get what you pay for.