Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Bad housing makes the news.
Came across this in the Seoul Shinmun last week, about a foreign English teacher given substandard housing in a Gyeonggi-do basement. He claims that even though he's a Korean-American, born and raised in the US, because he looks like a Korean he's given poorer treatment by recruiters and hagwon owners than those without Korean ancestory. The article also mentions ATEK at the end, the nominal foreign teachers' union that has yet to grow any teeth to deal with problems foreign teachers face.
That's kind of how the bathroom in my first place in Gangjin looked when I moved in, with tiles falling off the wall and mold everwhere, and I've heard tales of teachers faring much worse. Remember the moldy pit A Waygook Next Door was living in? And pretty much anyone living in a basement is contending with all sorts of creatures and creepy-crawlies.
I'd be interested to hear a little more about the contracts gyopos get. I suppose there is still discrimination against gyopo teachers for not looking the part of a native speaker. But, they are given preferential treatment in other areas, such as higher paying jobs in the test-prep sector, and most importantly the visa that allows them to move from job to job, to get out of bad contracts, and to offset potentially lower wages with private lessons otherwise illegal to teachers on E-2 visas.