South Korea To Ban All Sex Offenders From Taking The National Teacher Certification Exam

“It won’t be easy, but it’s the right thing to do…”

Effective this year, a new amendment passed on April 28, 2020 by the South Korean Ministry of Education will ban sex offenders from applying to take the national teacher certification examination.

South Korean Ministry of Education

While sex offenders have always been disqualified in the hiring process, they could still apply and take the certification exam. The Ministry of Education explained, “While the teacher certification program has continuously advised that those without the proper eligibility for employment in the education sector should not take the certification exam,” it has been impossible to actually stop them from applying anyway, without a policy in place.

South Korean Classroom | Picture Unrelated

The amendment now allows the Ministry of Education to screen for unfit applicants, deny them access to the certification examination, and hence “provide more opportunities for the qualifying applicants.”

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Korean citizens are largely supportive of this newly passed law, denying the certification examinations to those with any sexual criminal history — including any that resulted in fines over $1K…

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… and look forward to other sectors, like legal and medical, to consider applying the same restrictions to their respective certification processes.

  • “I hope this becomes a stepping stone for legal and medical sectors to ban sex offenders from applying to take the exams for licensure. I’m thrilled that the education sector finally made this happen.”
  • “This means that in the past, because of these sex offenders taking the seats, someone more qualified could have been deprived of their chances to take the exam — which is ridiculous, if you think about it.”
  • “Sex offenders have never been able to get hired. But to think that they would still apply to take the exam, it baffles me. It’s a huge number of applicants they’re going to have to screen though. It won’t be easy, but it’s the right thing to do.”
  • “This is such a given though… Can the legal and medical exams be banned too?”
  • “Sexual or not, criminal offenders should not be able to teach children, period. What right do they have? I think the law needs to be enforced even more, so they can be banned from pursuing careers in legal, medical, and public service sectors.”
Source: Joongang Ilbo and THEQOO