South Korean government moves to nationalize kindergartens

by WorldTribune Staff, March 10, 2019

Do South Korean children know that the Korean War started with an invasion from the communist North?

Pro-North Korean influence on public school curricula in the South have focused attention on the private education of even kindergarten children, according to a report by the East Asia Research Center.

South Korea has more than 1,500 private kindergartens.

Jeongyojo, the Korean Teachers & Educational Workers’ Union, “already has a disproportionate influence on children’s education from first grade and up,” Dr. Tara O noted in the March 7 report.

“Jeongyojo is a pro-North Korea, anti-U.S., anti-Japan, politicized organization that is involved in issues far beyond education. It has been active in deleting references in South Korean textbooks to the facts that North Korea invaded South Korea and U.S. and UN forces participated in defending South Korea.”

Policy measures taken by the leftist government of President Moon Jae-In have come under criticism as a bid to nationalize private kindergartens in South Korea.

While the majority of South Korean kindergartens are public, enabling the Moon administration to control the education content taught at the kindergarten level, private kindergartens in the Korea Kindergarten Association (Hanyoochong) have not been subject to such government intervention. Hanyoochong represents over 1,500 private kindergartens in South Korea.

“This is yet another step toward socialism and away from capitalism in South Korea,” the report said. “It opens the door to greater direct government intervention in other sectors of South Korea’s economy, including private health clinics and other private enterprises.”

National Assemblyman Park Young-Jin, of the liberal Deobureo Minju Party, introduced a bill, which includes Private School Law Reform.

Under the legislation, owners of private kindergartens, even when they are unprofitable or the owners can no longer run them, are prohibited from shutting down unless they have approval from two-thirds of the parents whose children are enrolled in the kindergarten, the report said.

“This proposal has not been voted on yet, but the Moon administration is enforcing it anyway as an administrative measure, threatening the private kindergarten owners with police action, if not complied,” according to the East Asia Research Center report.

Kim Jeong-Ho, who discusses economic and finance issues on YouTube, noted a situation of a kindergarten president in Busan who has cancer. He needs to close the kindergarten, but he is not allowed to because he cannot get two thirds of the parents’ approval to do so, Kim said.

In Seoul, city education superintendent Joe Hee-Yeon has pursued forced incorporation of any private schools with more than 200 students.

“It is not just the Seoul government that is pursuing the forced incorporation, but it is a nation-wide effort with the Moon administration’s backing,” the report said.

“Under socialism, private ownership of the means of production – capital, land, know how, etc. – are not allowed; rather, these assets become owned by the government,” Tara O wrote. “Thus private enterprises, such as these kindergarten businesses and private property, are not allowed in socialist states. The details of this recent action by the Moon administration against private kindergartens must be examined critically.”

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