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  1. Private Sector’s Role in EducationThe Case of Republic of Korea Gwang-Jo Kim Director of UNESCO Bangkok Public-Private Partnership in Education 17 March 2010, Bangkok, Thailand

  2. Outline • Education in Korea at a Glance • Evolution of Private Education • Regulations and Governance • Finance and Incentives • Lessons Learned

  3. I. Education in Korea at a Glance Russia North Korea South Korea China Japan

  4. Republic of Korea in Brief • Area: 100,140 km2 (Thailand: 513,120 km2) • Population: 48.5 million (Thailand: 65.9 million) • Social Development • High HDI(0.937, 26th), particularly high in Education Index (7th) • Economy • World 13th economy (2008, IMF), GNI per capita: US$ 27,791 (PPP, 2009, IMF) • Global Innovation Index (2009, 1st) • OECD member economy in 1996, DAC member in 2009 • Broadband access per capita(1st) • Strong in manufacturing(2009): Car manufacturing (5th), ship-building(2nd), semiconductor production(1st)

  5. History/Culture • Brief History: “Country of Morning Calm” • Three Kingdoms (BC 1C-AD 7C) – Shilla (7C-10C) – Koryo (10C-14C) – Chosun (14C-20C) • Japanese Colonial Rule (1910-1945) – Korean War (1950-1953) • Authoritarian Regime (until 1980s) – Democratization (1990s) • Cultural Features • Homogeneous people & language: prevalence of egalitarianism • Confucian tradition: high regard for learning & zeal for education • Traditional hierarchy of professions: scholars – farmers – engineers/scientists – merchants: preferences for “generalists”

  6. Education System • Formal Education • Primary(6) – Middle(3) – High(3) – Universities/Colleges(4) • Basic: 11K schools, 7.6M students, 403K teachers • Tertiary: 405 HEIs, 3.5M students, 73K full time teachers • Vocational Education & Training • VE: Vocational high schools – junior colleges/polytechnic colleges(2-3) and polytechnic universities(4) • VT: Public/private job training institutions, in-plant training institutions • Non-formal Education & Training • Public/private job institutions; private tutoring institutions; adult education centers; in-plant training institutions, etc

  7. GER Advancement rate EducationalExpansion

  8. Share of Private Education Students Enrollment Share (No of schools/institutes, 2009) Source extracted from: MEST (2009), Statistical Yearbook of Education 2009

  9. Quality • K-12 education: comparable to world standard & OECD average • No discernable difference in achievement across different SES group International Student Assessments

  10. II. Evolution of Private Education

  11. Before Modernization • Private Education as a Substitute for Public Ed • Established by retired scholar-officials or local Confucian scholars since AD 5C in Goguryeo • To provide preparatory courses for the State Civil Service Examination or cater the need for basic literacy education • At the end of 19C, first modern private schools were established by Korean nationalists and foreign missionaries

  12. Colonial Period: 1910 - 1945 • Restricted educational opportunities • Existing private schools were forced to become public and establishment of new private schools was prohibited <Gross Enrollment Ratio in 1942>

  13. Universalization of Primary Ed • After Independence: 1945 – early 1960s • Policy focus on primary education to complete 6-year compulsory ed. • More than 77% of total MOE budget was spent on primary education between 1948 to 1960 < Gross Enrollment Ratio in Primary School Level> • Encourage to Establishment Private Schools • Lenient and minimal regulation to open and manage private schools, until the enactment of “Private School Act” in 1963 • Main incentives were tax break for properties owned and run by school corporations along with the right to raise funds and donations from parents

  14. Expansion of Secondary Ed • Unmet/excess demand for SE after UPE • Extreme competition to enter middle schools; severe stress of students and excessive private tutoring became social issues • Abolishment of Entrance Exam for Middle Schools in 1969 • Introduce a lottery system for school selection within school district based on student’s residence • Allowing all the primary school graduate to enter middle schools • Providing a momentum for private middle schools to expand • Middle school education become compulsory since 1980 • Government began to subsidize private middle schools and provide additional facilities and staff to accommodate a growing number of students

  15. Development of Middle School Education Number of Middle Schools by Founders and GER in Middle School Level Source: KEDI (2005), Analysis on the Growth of Korean Education for 60 Years

  16. High School Equalization • Increased demand for high school education • Issues of the middle school “3rd Year Syndrome” • Soaring private tutoring expenses for the preparation of high school entrance exams • Education disparity between regions and socio-economic groups • High School Equalization Policyin 1974 • Replace individual schools’ own entrance exam with the local standardized achievement test • School lottery selection in Seoul and Busan in 1974 followed by in other metropolitan cities in 1975

  17. HSEP (cont’d) • Random assignment (lottery) of students to schools based on; • Minimum level of achievement (local standardized achievement test) • Residence (school district) • Subsidies to private schools to ensure that each school gets comparable school inputs • Teachers, facilities, equipments, textbooks etc.

  18. Exceptions to HSEP • Vocational high schools • Students apply for schools regardless of the school district/catchment area • Schools administer their own selection process • Special purpose HS to meet specific needs • Science, arts, foreign language, sports • Before HSEP local test, each school administers own selection test • Autonomous private high schools (1990s-) • No government subsides with limited autonomy in school fees, curriculum, teachers, etc.

  19. Universalization of High School Education Number of High Schools by Foundation and GER in High School Level Source: KEDI (2005), Analysis on the Growth of Korean Education for 60 Years

  20. RecentPolicy Initiative to wide students’ school choice: Case of Seoul

  21. Summary • Sequential expansion of education opportunity • Achieve the universal primary and secondary education within 50 years after the colonial occupation and the Korean War • Key role of private schools to provide educational opportunities • Automatic progression and HSEP provided an important momentum to private schools to expand • However, student’s right to choose school or the other way around was compromised

  22. III. Regulations and Governance

  23. Legal Framework of PE • Guiding Principles by Private School Act • Serve the public, hence are not for profit; and should maintain autonomy • Governance • Supervised by Provincial Education Office (Primary and Secondary); or by MOE (Tertiary) • Governmental norms • Establishment, teaching staff, facilities, curriculum, eligibility for entrance and student selection, etc.

  24. Establishment of Private School • Under the regulation of Private School Act • ‘School Corporation’ (legal entity) should be set up to establish a private school • Should meet the rigorous standard on school facilities, teaching equipment , library, faculty and other inputs

  25. Teaching Staff • Qualification • Same qualifications as public school teachers are required by law (Article 52 of PSA) • Recruitment and Working condition • Each private school hires its own teachers among the qualified pool • Various laws and regulations exist to secure an appropriate level of working condition for private school teachers

  26. Curriculum and Textbooks • National curriculum • National curriculum is imposed on all secondary schools including private schools • Both public and private schools can choose some of elective courses set by the National curriculum (as part of decentralization and a SBM initiative) • All secondary schools use text books for core subjects that are either published or accredited by the government

  27. IV. Finance and Incentives

  28. Source of Funding < Composition of Revenue in Private Secondary Schools (%) > Source extracted from: MEST (2009), Statistical Yearbook of Education 2009

  29. Public Funding • Direct Subsidies for Private Secondary Schools • Since 1970s, private schools receive government subsidies determined by the difference between standard budget requirement and their revenue • Funding Flows • MOE (block grant since 1991)  Provincial education office (formula funding)  District education office/ Schools

  30. Other Incentives • Tax Incentives • Exemption of corporation tax, VAT, property tax and other internal and local tax on schools • Reduction of tax rate on the businesses and assets owned by school corporations • Students enrolled in private schools are entitled to student loan programmes subsidized by the government

  31. V. Lessons Learned

  32. Lessons learned • Supply-driven approach with excessive demand for more & better education • Sequential approach to expand educational opportunities • Egalitarian philosophy to underpin education policies • Importance of policy framework • Balance between regulation and incentives

  33. Thank you!gj.kim@unesco.org