Saturday, 24 March 2012

Foreign Drug Crime in Korea

Matt, at Popular Gusts, continues documenting the changes in drug-testing laws for English teachers in Korea, with this fantastic post including comparative statistics, a critique of the media narratives about drug-using English teachers, and reflections on the cumbersome new duplication of documentation that is, once again, being required of foreign English teachers in Korea.

You should go read it right now.

We've been over this territory before, lots of times -- these days I'm happily studying and being a dad, so I'm not as knuckle-deep in the English teacher stuff as I used to, but the main boilerplate remains the same:

1. As for the quality of the teachers coming into Korea, you get what you pay for: either in terms of initial pay, or in terms of opportunity for advancement. No career educator is going to stay in Korea teaching English if they have virtually no chance of ever graduating out of "assistant instructor"status, or going higher than "head teacher"(a position I'd been promoted to by my fifth month in Korea, which meant nothing except one night of drinking's worth in cash extra per month.)

2. As for retaining quality teachers who come, if it's too onerous to stay, because of duplication of already-submitted documents, or invasive medical tests that send the message teachers are assumed to be criminals until proven innocent... good teachers, or teachers who aren't wildly passionate about being in Korea, or ones who simply have a lot of dignity, will go elsewhere.

However...
3. As the politics of English education goes, because English teachers don't vote, and don't push back in Korean, they're an easy scapegoat, and rearranging the laws for English teachers, nominally adjusting the requirements and timing of said requirements, is a great way for a politician to look like they're passionately concerned about kids with virtually no political risk whatsoever, because of the narratives already in place.

1 comment:

Roboseyo said...

The only reason for all this activities is the government is getting worst in every country. the security is useless...Farewell Message to Teacher