South Korean parents and teachers protest against plan to lower school age – Michmutters

South Korean parents and teachers protest against plan to lower school age

Teachers and parents in South Korea are pushing back against plans to lower the age children start school to five years old.

The education ministry announced last week it would lower the age in stages from 2025, if the move was supported by the public.

A coalition of 36 teacher and parent groups staged a rally in front of the presidential office on Monday, calling for the plan to be dropped.

The education ministry said the plan would help address the shrinking labor force as students would complete their education earlier.

Teachers hold concerns the change would result in more private tutoring for students as parents competed to get their children ahead.

“Considering cognitive and emotional development, early entry to school is inappropriate,” the coalition said in a statement.

“It is likely to cause side effects, such as intensifying private education and competition for college entrance exams.”

“It would only increase the burden on parents at a time when many are giving up their jobs to support their children as they enter elementary school.”

Parents are also opposing the plan due to the struggle to find child care in the early afternoon.

Parents already face the problem, but not until children go to school at age six.

A mother of two who did not wish to be named said the government should help schools secure more teachers to take better care of children.

“This means schools would play a dual role of education and child care,” she said.

The education ministry said it expected to have enough public feedback on its plan by the end of the year.

It said measures would be designed to expand child care and other support before launching a pilot program.



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