The presidential transition committee announced a scheme of increasing English public education in order to strengthen English education and reduce spending on private English education. The scheme includes starting English classes taught only in English at elementary schools from 2011 and at secondary schools from 2012, hiring 23,000 new English teachers by 2013 who are able to teach English classes completely in English, and retraining 3,000 teachers form among current English teachers every year.
Establishment of English public libraries in each province and management of an English zone at each school are contained as well.
According to the Korean Federation of Teachers’ Associations (KFTA)’s recent survey of 910 teachers from kindergarten to high school, 60% of respondents opposed the idea to teach English and other subject classes in English. They worried about, the shallow level of teaching content (49%) and an increase in private English education expenses as a side effect of expanding English classes (21%). Teachers suggested ways to improve teaching skills (66%) and hiring more English native teachers to complement public English education (25%).
The KFTA announced the position through the statement that it agreed with the purpose of English public education and the specific plan; but urged a reconsideration of hiring new teachers only for teaching English as a new teacher system can confuse employment, qualifications, and the training of English teachers.