The Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology(MEST) has claimed that around two thirds of native-speaking English teachers in South Korea quit after six months on the job because of employment or studies, through a report on Sept. 29.
The report submitted by the MEST to the ruling Grand National Party lawmakers showed that as of July 2010, 66.1 percent of native English teachers ended their contract in six months, without completing their one-year contract period. The number of teachers leaving their job halfway through a contract has increased rapidly from 46 percent in 2008 and 57.6 percent in 2009. The average rate over last three years is 56.4 percent, which means one of two native teachers left school before the contract’s expiration.
As blogged on this site, it was one of several articles that spread false information regarding native speaker English teacher retention rates that claimed that many---and in the Hankyoreh's case two-thirds---of NSETs quit their contracts early. Dated October 13th, the correction titled "Less than 5 pct. of native English teachers quit job halfway" reads in part:
Due to both a misinterpretation of the both data and source of the report, the article erroneously stated that up to 66 percent of native English teachers in public schools, while the number of teachers quitting is in fact less than 5 percent.
. . .
We would like to issue an apology for our mistake and our late correction, and look forward to more active responses, comments and participation of readers of the Hankyoreh’s English Online Edition.
Commenter Roboseyo---Rob Ouwehand, blogger and Communications Officer for the Association for Teachers of English in Korea [ATEK]---has written on Gusts of Popular Feeling and Extra! Korea that
ATEK was in touch with the Hankyoreh about this article, and the reporter who reached out to us seemed quite concerned with getting the story right, once it became obvious that there were sharp discrepancies in the reported statistics.
Excellent work by Ouwehand and others for the "active responses, comments and participation of readers of the Hankyoreh’s English Online Edition," and excellent work by Gusts of Popular Feeling for informing the ATEK press release and for providing the in-depth look at the numbers the news outlets did not. I hope that other parties to this latest misinformation---the Korea Herald, JoongAng Daily, and Yonhap---are next in their corrections and apologies.