The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology on Tuesday reported to the presidential transition committee its plan to ban schools from teaching ahead of the curriculum.
The plan is one of the key parts of President-elect Park’s education reform strategy that aim to cut private tutoring and upgrade public education.
In its briefing to the presidential transition committee, the ministry reportedly proposed to establish a special supervisory commission at all 17 regional education offices to monitor schools.
Park said, during her election campaign, she will impose a new rule prohibiting primary and secondary schools from writing exam questions that require students to study at a higher level as early as six months in advance.
The Education Ministry also reportedly proposed plans to make high school education free for all students by 2017 in accordance with Park’s education policy.
The president-elect aims to curb private education costs that add to household debt by limiting private cram institutions while enhancing public schools.
Apart from curbing private education, Park pledged to allow middle-school students to focus on their career planning. The ministry officials Tuesday reported plans to implement Park’s idea of exempting middle school students from taking exams for one semester to allow them focus on career planning.
Her educational policies also include expanding the physical education curriculum for elementary, middle and high schools, and reducing the burden of tuition fees by increasing government support to students from low-income families.
Also, Park, as part of plans to strengthen public education, plans to introduce “all-day” services in elementary schools nationwide by expanding after-school classes. The ministry currently runs 1,700 after-school classes nationwide and plans to add 300 classes by next year with an additional budget of 5 billion won.
On Park’s pledge to launch a new ministry overseeing the science and technology industry, the officials said they planned to increase investment in scientific research and development to 5 percent of gross domestic product.
The Public Administration Ministry also briefed the panel focusing on measures for boosting provincial governments’ finances.
With provincial governments’ finances deteriorating due to the lack of tax revenues, and the widening gap between different areas of the country, the President-elect has promised measures to allow provincial bodies to increase tax revenues independently of the central government.
Measures reported to under consideration include allocating a larger portion of the value added tax to provincial governments. This year the proportion allocated to provincial governments is set to be doubled to 10 percent. If the figure is raised to 20 percent, provincial governments’ tax revenues are estimated to be increased by 8 trillion won ($7.6 billion).
In addition, the Public Administration Ministry also reported that local governments would require more support from the central government to fund the free child care for children up to the age of 5 pledged by the president-elect.
The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family said it would foster 100,000 female leaders and toughen measures on sex crimes in line with Park’s campaign pledges. The president-elect vowed to ensure there were female leaders in both public and private sectors and to curb gender discrimination at workplaces.
The ministry said it would offer incentives to companies that have a high percentage of female managers and adopt a quota system to increase the portion of female leaders in public offices. The ministry said it will also launch new division to better deal with the growing number of sex crimes, in cooperation with the police.
Issues of multicultural families and child support were included in the report, officials said.
By Oh Kyu-wook (email@example.com