Foreigners who want to teach English in Korea will face stricter drug screening by the government, the Justice Ministry said Tuesday.
The ministry will announce a revised law on immigration control that requires those suspected of drug use to undergo two tests before employment as English teachers on the E-2 visa. The law will take effect from Feb. 1.
Under the revised law, a would-be teacher should get tested for immunity with a drug diagnosis reagent authorized by the Korea Food and Drug Administration. If the test is positive, he or she must undergo another test using a mass spectrometer.
The ministry will test for methamphetamine, cocaine, opium and marijuana. If the second test is positive, issuance or extension of a visa will be denied.
A Justice Ministry official said, “A number of English instructors took drugs while teaching, and we wanted to prevent this in advance.”
The image of foreign English teachers stoned in the classroom is a common one among xenophobes, though I suspect what gets garbled in translation is that "a number" of teachers are caught each year taking drugs while under contract, not necessarily while teaching. Drugs are bad, mmmkay, though it's still discriminatory to focus on E-2 visa holders and applicants while ignoring foreign English teachers on other visas, especially considering how relatively often it is we're reading about gyopo offenders among these drug-taking foreigners.