The 92nd KFTA Board of Representatives meeting was held at KFTA’s main auditorium on April 9. Regarding the recent corruption scandals in education, KFTA agreed to a strong sense of responsibility as a community member and resolved to take the lead in practicing teacher’s professional ethics to help recover national confidence in educators. At the same time, however, it adopted an eight-item resolution to urge the government and politicians to stop promoting distrust in education and “teacher-suffocating” policies by misleading the public to believe that the recent corruption issues are not the problem of some part but the problem of the whole education sector.
In the resolution, KFTA representatives urged △to use teacher evaluation for professional development of teachers, separate teacher salary from personnel management and reconsider the performance-based pay system which would cause conflicts in schools; △to scrap window-dressing policies such as the compulsory open classes four times a year and online open class plan; △to stop promoting the Aggravated Punishment of Specific Education Crimes Act and mandatory registration of school principal’s financial assets which will encourage public distrust in education and negative image of educators by assuming teachers as a potentially corrupt group; △to stop promoting policies irrelevant to eradication of educational corruption such as issuing 10 times more principal certificates and expanding open recruitment of principals by 50%; △to legislate the Master Teacher and Sabbatical Research Year programs as early as possible to improve educational quality and professional development of teachers and come up with a practically effective measures to reduce teacher’s irrelevant work burden; △to re-establish the function of local education offices based on school support and find a reasonable approach to strengthen the function of professional educators as facilitator of learning; △to improve the way to seek the agreement from KFTA teachers to withhold their membership fees from income at source since it impedes the independence of KFTA, which is different from other teacher unions and take a cautious approach in disclosing the membership information of teacher organization to prevent ill use of the data; △and stated its opinions on major educational issues including its commitment to a fair and policy-oriented local election scheduled on June 2 and strengthen its organizational capacity to elect people who have good understanding of school education, outstanding moral standards and professionalism.
The resolution started from the recognition that the recent events should provide a new opportunity for improvement based on self-examination and diagnosed the recent corruption scandals as “a severe educational crisis” as they have significantly reduced national confidence in education. It also reflected the serious reality where policies irrelevant to corruption recklessly produced after the scandals by the government and politicians have significantly reduced the morale of most teachers who are not involved in the scandals and encouraged educational distrust.
Meanwhile, KFTA surveyed 487 elementary, middle and high school teachers from April 5-7 on the recent corruption scandals in education before the representatives meeting. In the survey, teachers were asked about their sentiments on the prolonged political turmoil over the educational corruption scandals. 79.6% of the respondents said, “it has led to declined morale and confusion among teachers” and only 19.5% responded, “it is hard to say it has led to a significant confusion or declined morale of teachers.” Regarding the government’s response and solution to educational corruption, 76.8% said they were “unsatisfied” while merely 7.8% said they were “satisfied.”
The representatives meeting decided to vote the 34th president by mail to 190 thousand KFTA members and approved election schedule including official announcement(April 12), registration of candidates(May 3), joint election speech(May 28), voting by mail(June 11-17) and vote counting & announcement of the elected(June 21).