Expectations and concerns are mixed in the field of education before the pilot operation of ‘Ysgol Neulbom’, which provides care and education after school from the elementary school until 8:00pm in March.
In general, frontline teachers have a strong sense of resistance to adding care to the ‘school’ space as well as education, which is the original function. It is a concern about the decline in the quality of education due to the workload. On the other hand, parents, mostly working couples, express expectations as they can ease the burden of childcare.
Extended care until 8 pm Educare program support
According to the education authorities on the 29th, the Ministry of Education selected 200 elementary schools under the jurisdiction of the Gyeonggi, Gyeongbuk, Jeonnam, Daejeon and Incheon Bureaus of Education on the 25th as pilot schools for Neulbom School 2023.
The Gyeonggi Provincial Office of Education plans to designate 80 schools, or about 10% of all elementary schools in the area, as pilot schools. These schools will expand the operating hours of care classes until 8:00 pm starting in March at the latest and the second semester at the latest.
The education authorities do not give up on simple care, but also provide an intensive support program to Educare to support learning.
In addition, in the case of elementary schools that wish, they operate ‘one more program’ that provides curriculum content based on education such as artificial intelligence (AI). It is a concept of supporting one other academic ability improvement program free of charge for students enrolled in the ‘special talent program’ who can participate only by paying the tuition.
We hold classes after school for students who need care even on weekends and holidays. During this period, various experimental activities such as AI will be provided through the participation of universities, companies, and non-profit organizations.
More work due to ‘unprepared’ care expansion… Teacher backlash
Front-line teachers are voicing opposition, saying that the expansion of ‘unprepared’ care will inevitably lead to a reduction in the quality of education due to the increase in teachers’ work.
Even when the Ministry of Education extended the care class to 7 pm in 2021, the Gyeonggi Provincial Office of Education conducted a poll of elementary school principals in the province, and only 50 out of 1038 respondents (5%) gave an opinion in favor . .
This time, the Ministry of Education announced that it plans to send 31 scholarship personnel to Gyeonggi-do to reduce work before operating the Neulbom School. However, in a situation where additional personnel are assigned to the local education office, not the school, there are concerns that the teachers will ultimately be responsible for the actual school site care work.
“There is only a month left until the operation of Ysgol Neulbom, so can we prepare a separate space in the meantime?” said the head of the government’s school policy department at the Gyeonggi branch of the National Union of Teachers and Education Workers. they may stay in this school, but next time the teachers will take over the work,” he said.
Teachers argue that it is necessary to distribute the burden of care through ‘collaboration with local governments’ which was emphasized by Gyeonggi Provincial Education Superintendent Lim Tae-hee in order to prevent workload due to the expansion of care.
At the same time, it is argued that education and care should be separated, and that a person in charge should be in charge. However, the Gyeonggi Provincial Office of Education has not been able to establish specific plans for cooperation with local governments, standards for selecting model schools, and expanding child care centers.
Parents welcome to ‘Ysgol Neulbom’… The quality of education is expected to improve
Parents respond positively to Ysgol Neulbom.
Modryb Modryb (41), the mother of her child who is about to go to elementary school, said, “Ysgol Neulbom will help when it is difficult to take care of the children, such as overtime work and lunches.” I wish it was,” he said.
Yeom Eun-jeong, head of the Gyeonggi branch of the Parents Association for True Education, said, “For dual-income couples, child care is a serious issue that directly affects their lives. Rather than increasing the time uniformly, it is also important to prevent gaps from occurring.”
The education authorities are struggling to provide quality care services while preventing the workload of frontline teachers from being overloaded.
An official from the Gyeonggi Provincial Office of Education said, “We will implement the Neulbom School project by preparing measures to avoid burdening teachers with administrative work.”