The government will designate 400 schools as special 'anti-private' tuition institutions, next month as part of efforts to enhance public education and curtail private tutoring costs, officials said yesterday.
Selected schools will receive an average of 350 million won ($281,350) for the next three years, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said.
With the money, heads of each school can give incentives to teachers, hire auxiliary teachers or administrative staffers, develop educational programs, give financially support students and enhance school facilities, the ministry said.
The ministry said the schools will aim to reduce their students' monthly costs for private education by 50 percent within three years and increase students' and parents' satisfaction with school education to over 80 percent also within three years.
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The ministry plans to increase the number of the schools "free from private education" to 600 in 2010, 800 in 2011 and 1,000 in 2012.
Municipal and provincial education offices will recommend schools to the ministry, which will then designate 400 schools next month. The schools will begin operating in July.
The Joongang Ilbo also has the story, but reports a different monetary figure, probably from ambiguity in the usage of "annually" and "average." An excerpt:
The ministry will check twice a year at the subsidized schools to see if spending by parents on private instruction shrinks. Its goal is to halve the amount of money parents with children at these schools spend on private tutoring in three years. If the subsidies are not having much of an effect at a particular school, the government will withdraw its support.
The 400 schools represent 3.5 percent of the total number of schools in Korea, which currently stands at 11,153.
Both articles say private education costs an average of 233,000 won per month per student. Here are some more figures about what Koreans spend on tutors and cram schools.