Teacher education and welfare organization
Qualifications for educators
Under Section 21. 1 and 21. 2 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, an educator refers to a principal, an assistant principal, a master teacher, and a teacher. Classified into full-time teachers (grade 1, 2), associate teachers, counselors (grade 1, 2), librarians (grade 1, 2), teachers for hands-on activities, nurses (grade 1, 2), and dietitians (grade 1, 2), teachers must meet certain criteria for each category* and earn a certificate awarded by the Minister of Education as prescribed by Presidential Decree. Under Section 22. 1 and 22. 2 of the Early Childhood Education Act, a kindergarten educator refers to a principal, an assistant principal, and a teacher. Classified into full-time teachers (grade 1, 2) and associate teachers, teachers must meet certain criteria for each category** and earn a certificate awarded by the Minister of Education as prescribed by Presidential Decree. Mostly, testing is not required for teaching certification. Although candidates for associate teachers and teachers for hands-on activities have to take a test in principle, there have been no tests since 1980. Certification which requires work experience is performed by the superintendent of the municipal office of education and certification which requires academic background, by the head of a higher education institution.
Annexed Table 1 of Section 21. 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and Annexed Table 2 of Section 21. 2 of the Elementary and Secondary Education ActAnnexed Table 1 of Section 22. 1 of the Early Childhood Education Act and Annexed Table 2 of Section 22. 2 of the Early Childhood Education Act
Education for prospective educators
Teacher education is performed primarily in special colleges of education and through education degree or certificate programs in regular colleges. According to Section 19. 3 of the Teacher Qualification Ordinance, special graduate schools of education and graduate schools of education* designated by the Minister of Education take charge of producing teachers.
Seoul National University Graduate School, Graduate School of Korea National University of Education, special graduate schools of
A total of 10 special colleges for elementary education, Jeju National University, Ewha Womans University, and Korea National University of Education are committed to nurturing elementary teachers and 46 national, public, and private special colleges for secondary education and 130 regular colleges, secondary school teachers. For more than 20 years since 1998, the Korean Educational Development Institute and expert groups have been entrusted with the assessment of the capacity of institutions. Also, we set up a feedback loop for enhancing the quality and quantity of education and ensuring adequate support for institutions.
Appointment of educators
Since teaching is recognized as one of the best professions, e competitive ratio of the teacher recruitment examination becomes increasingly high. National and public school teachers are considered public servants and get tenured. In accordance with Section 53. 2 of the Private School Act, private schools select their teachers via an open process, similar to that of national and public schools—the written test organized by the municipal office of education and the secondary test, such as classroom demonstrations and interviews.
The teacher recruitment examination consists of the primary test measuring knowledge about education and a particular subject and the secondary test which includes classroom demonstrations and in-depth interviews (aptitude, beliefs, personality, and literacy), administered by the municipal office of education as per relevant laws: the Educational Official Act and the Educational Official Recruitment Ordinance. Both people who hold a diploma issued by an accredited institution and a teaching certificate and degree candidates with a teaching certificate are entitled to the teacher recruitment examination.
Training and evaluation of educators
Qualification training and on-the-job training are powered by a variety of entities, such as the National Education Training Institute, regional institutes, and private agencies endorsed by the Ministry of Education. Training is also voluntarily organized by teaching staff and takes place in their respective schools. In order for teachers to make long-term continuous improvements, the municipal offices of education offer a wide array of in-service programs, which consider career stages (exploration, growth, establishment, maturity) as well as local conditions. Training content contains instructional methods, life education, career advising, and self-enrichment, to name a few. Teachers are able to spontaneously take the courses they want and maximize their professionalism.
To choose the most proper trainees and build the right solution for them, we annually conduct teacher evaluations, specified in the Regulations on Teacher Training. As a potent tool to improve teacher performance and boost reliability in public education, the evaluation system is composed of peer reviews and student and parent satisfaction surveys; the results are used to create customized training. Those getting an excellent appraisal have the opportunity for personal development, including a sabbatical. Not only that, we help teachers who get a low rating hone their communication skills and refine their teaching practices.
- Korean Federation of Teachers’ Associations: www.kfta.or.kr
- Korean Teachers & Education Workers Union: www.eduhope.net
- Korean Federation of Teachers Union: www.kftu.net
- Union of Educators with Disabilities: http://cafe.daum.net/lufat
Korea Teachers’ Credit Union
The Korea Teachers’ Credit Union is Korea's only one of its kind founded by a special law in 1971 to advocate for the economic stability and welfare of faculty and staff across the country.
The Korea Teachers’ Credit Union offers financial services—long-term savings for retirement, special insurance, and low-interest loans—and free tax and legal advice but also discounts for accommodations, medical and funeral services, movies, musicals, concerts, and sporting events.
Beginning on January 1, 1975, the Teachers’ Pension has worked for benefits in the case of retirement, death, and occupational diseases, injuries, and disabilities of private school employees and thus has assisted in promoting economic and social wellbeing for them and their families. The basic shape of the system, such as contribution and allowance, is the same as that of the Government Employees Pension Service.
As of 2020, the Teachers’ Pension has 320,000 members and 22 trillion won in accumulated assets. It is headquartered in Naju, Jeollanam-do and runs regional offices in Seoul, Busan, and Daejeon.