On March 25th, KFTA said that the rules on disciplinary punishments for public educational officials announced by the Ministry of Education, Science & Technology (MEST), which includes new information about demotion as part of disciplinary punishment of public educational officials, needs to be carefully reviewed.
According to the current rules, there are five different types of disciplinary punishments applied to public educational officials, including dismissal, discharge, suspension, and light disciplinary actions like pay reduction and reprimand. The newly introduced punishment of demotion will be applied between the discharge and suspension. If you receive a disciplinary demotion, a principal will be reduced to vice-principal, a vice-principal will be reduced to teacher, but teachers are exempted from disciplinary demotion.
The spokesperson for KFTA said that it is necessary to newly install “demotion” between “discharge” and “suspension” for disciplinary punishments of public educational officials as a result of the amendment of the National Public Officials Act, because the gap between “discharge” and “suspension” is too big. However, if it only applies to principals and vice-principals, this could lead to criticism about unfair treatment and not properly reflecting the characteristics of teachers.
Also, the teachers who violated any laws or regulations should receive appropriate severe punishment, but there could be controversy about unfairness if an amendment which doesn’t reflect the characteristics of teachers is introduced to the teaching communities, which is why the Ministry of Education, Science & Technology (MEST) should have sufficient time to embrace different opinions of school communities.