On Tuesday, 10th of July, the Ministry of Education (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education KIM, Sang-kon) held an international symposium, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the "Korean Language Education Adoption Project" at Sejong Center in Seoul. The theme of the symposium was "The age of Korean as a world-class language, Korean language classes in the world."
In this symposium, Ukrainian Minister of Education and Science as well as officials of ministries of education, education administrators, Korean language teachers from 31 countries participated and evaluated the past 20 years of a "project for supporting the adoption of Korean language classes in education" and discussed the promotion and recent developments of Korean language abroad.
In this symposium, exemplary cases and results of policy research were presented and discussed. Education officials from Thailand and Uzbekistan, where the Korean language education has been adopted quite successfully, have presented the current status of Korean education in their countries and the vision of their policies.
Sukanya Ngambunjong, Vice-President of Thailand's Basic Education Committee said, "We have introduced Korean as a second foreign language for the first time in our University Entrance Exam PAT(Professional and Aptitudes Test), and despite having Korean as a second foreign language for the first time, around 10% of 50,000 students have chosen Korean. This shows that there is a big interest and demand for Korean language."
* In the Thai university entrance exam, the test subjects for the 2nd foreign language are Chinese, Pali, Arabic, Japanese, French and German. In the 2018 University Entrance Exam, Korean has been added as the 7th language.
"With the cooperation of the Thailand-Korean Education Center, we aim to build a system to train Korean language teachers and to establish a project of cooperation between schools. We will develop the basic education of Korean language courses and develop the Korean language capacity of our students."
Nasirov Abduraxim Abdumutalipovich, Director-General of the Uzbek Ministry of Education, said "Through mutual cooperation with the Tashkent-Korean Education Center, we have developed a Korean Language Education curriculum from the 5th to 9th grades." He added, "In 2015, we established a Korean language teacher's certificate training course in order to accelerate Korean education in the fundamental education system in Uzbekistan."
The participants also discussed the possibility of adopting Korean language education in elementary and secondary schools.
Baby Ram Gautam, Vice Director-General of the Nepal Ministry of Education, said that "It should be possible for the students to build a future career with Korean language, even after they graduate", and added that "For this purpose, Korean language promotion policies should be introduced."
KIM Sunjoung, a Kyemyoung University Professor said, "For the second leap forward of Korean language education, it is important that the Ministry of Education, the Overseas Koreans Education Centers and the Ministries of Education of other countries cooperate very closely. The role of the Overseas Korean Education Centers in each country should especially be reinforced."
The United States adopted Korean language as part of its SAT in 1997, and supported the adoption of Korean language education with the help of Overseas Koreans Education Centers. The Overseas Koreans Education Centers also have supported dispatching Korean teachers, the formation and training for teachers and the development of Korean language class curriculum.
Through Korea's improved global status, the number of countries that receive support for Korean language education and the amount of support they receive increased every year, and currently 125,000 adolescents of 28 countries and 1,423 schools are learning Korean. (In 2017)
Number of countries and schools supported: ('09) 522 schools from 14 countries→ ('10) 695 schools from 22 countries→ ('11) 695 schools from 22 countries→ ('14) 1,111 schools from 26 countries→ ('17) 1,423 schools from 28 countries
Budget: ('04) 329,000,000KW→ ('11) 2,800,000,000KW→ ('14) 3,500,000,000KW→ ('15) 4,500,000,000KW
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education KIM, Sang-kon said that "We have also received news that with the efforts of Tashkent Overseas Koreans Education Center, a department of Korean Studies will open in Uzbekistan," adding that "We will actively use the outcome of today's symposium and find various ways for students not only to learn Korean but also to understand the world and humanity better."
* unofficial translation