Thursday, March 31, 2005

Foreign teachers can relax a little.

The Chosun has an article about another article posted somewhere (location not given in the Chosun) online. The Chosun quite reasonably gives a lot of qualifiers about the identity of the poster but the author claims to be a teacher who recommends bribes.

She said there was a direct correlation between gifts and
the care she takes of children. "Parents who never visit
teachers in charge of their kids throughout the year
behave poorly. I take special care of a pupil whose
parents gave me an embroidered cushion worth
W150,000 (US$150), in consideration of their
sincerity," she said.

Her excuse seems to be that everyone is doing it.

"I am aware that some of my pupils are at a
disadvantage because their parents fail to
give me presents. But are such practices
confined to schools? Bribery is rampant in
corporations and public agencies."

She also says that she receives an insufficient salary. I don't know how much an elementary teacher in Seoul makes but elementary teachers in Kyoungsangnamdo start with a significantly higher salary than a police officer.

After reading the title, I wasn't sure how I felt. Many students have bought me coffee but I would say that I spend as much on each class as I receive in gifts. In a semester, I will have three or four games and contests and bring prizes- usually chocolate or, again, coffee. The article, of course, describes gifts somewhat larger than can-coffee so I am safe in my disapproval.

Anyway, foreign teachers, who typically don't come from a culture of bribery, might look a little better to the public now that this news is out.

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