According to the ‘OECE Education at Glance 2006’, the education level of Korea is higher in educational output (students who finished high school or higher education, OECD PISA result), lower in educational input (school education expenditure rate comparing with GDP level, education cost per a student), similar or higher in access to education (number of children going to school), worse in education environment (number of students per a class, students rate per teacher) than other OECD countries.
Following the results of this education index, the KFTA required the government to expand the education budget to improve Korean educational conditions and strengthen public education. The KFTA maintained that increase of education budget would make the competitiveness of public education strong by decreasing class size, increasing the number of teachers and decreasing weekly teaching hours.
The KFTA challenged data and questioning the objectivity of a study showing a Korean teachers’ salary is one of the highest in the OECD as measured by a teachers’ salary through a PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) index. The KFTA pointed out that there was no standard in the data and the data was different by each country. The KFTA remarked that a lack of consistency of data was the problem and insisted on seeing the original data.
The KFTA remarked that, “Korean President ROH Moo-Hyun considers himself one who emphasizes education, but he has made the education budget worse than before. The government should implement education spending at 6% of GDP that was promised in the presidential election”