Friday, May 09, 2008

Those Darn English Teachers!

South Korea bans US pedophiles from entering country

This story covers the recent ban on some convicted pedophiles from entering South Korea.
As a former English teacher in South Korea, I am well aware of:

1) English teachers from all over the world hired with, dubious backgrounds and suspect motives for wanting to work in Asia.
2)Teachers working with fraudulent documents like working with tourist visas and fake teaching certificates and university degrees.

I believe that as long as there is a need for english education and as long as there are people willing to sell such a service then there will be the potential for unsavory individuals attempting to come to Korea. The biggest scoundrels are the Hakwon (Korean Academy) owners who are willing to for go the safety of their students just to say that they have a high number of native speaking instructors.Unfortunately, the Korean government and media seems to prefer to launch blame towards all foreign teachers (especially those from North America) when bad things happen rather than to reform (or maybe create) some uniformed standards for hiring teachers and then actively enforcing those standards. Finding that pedophiles are actively trying to enter Korean, Japanese, Thai and Taiwan school should not come as a surprise to Korean Government officials since teaching (or finding a job in any capacity in elementary schools) is the method of choice for child predators of any nationality.
I'm sure that this story will be used to further strengthen South Korean national disgust toward North American foreigners looking for work or currently working in South Korea.


Courtney said...

There has also been a lot of drama over creating stricter visas for English teachers.

Courtney said...

I meant making the process for getting a visa stricter.. not some totally new visa. Sorry..

Inyeop Lee said...

I agree with you that there must be some uniformed standars for hiring teachers in Hakwon. There are so many private institutes and lack of regulation is one of the reason for these crimes. But those pedophiles also deserve to be banned.

Joo-Eun Kim said...

Not only Korea, there are many unqualified teachers in Japan too. I went to the biggest English Hakwon chain in Japan and one of the branch my friend went hired a former criminal who stayed in jail for several years in America. The teacher told my friend his experience in jail and she told me about her teacher. As teaching Korean is hard for me, Korean's thinking that any American will teach English well is a wrong conception that has to be changed to prevent further crimes by those pedophiles or unqualified teachers.