I have the displeasure of working 'with' this piece of shit ajeosshi. He doesn't have the stereotypical slant eyes, balding hair, wrinkled skin, dead tooth, and despite being blessed with all the properties of a normal human, he still manages to be one of the most repulsive organisms I have ever seen. When he showed up late and then left our class, I was fucking pissed, but I realize that his absence is a blessing now. I am as grateful for it as I am for the rise of the sun and the statute of limitations.
The school knows how much he sucks so they've had him teaching music for the last two years to a class that's 50% mentally retarded. It's their idea of damage control, akin to the USSR pouring concrete over Chernobyl, and it's not a bad one. Retards don't have a chance in this society.
Working around this ajeosshi got me curious: What does a Korean teacher have to do to get fired from the public school system?
I asked my co-teachers a bunch of questions and here's what they had to say:
“You can never get fired for something like being a bad teacher. The only case I know of people getting fired is for drunk driving, or child molestation. Social problems like that.”
“If you have a serious problem, the National Office of Education will move you to another school, but never fire you.”
I asked my friend, a teacher at another school, and she had a slightly different story to tell (she is also Korean).
“Teachers never get fired. The social problems have to be way more serious. Sex scandals and drunk driving are serious things but MOE always covers up for their own teachers. They are like family. Its a big problem and most people in Korea hate about its attitude. That's why teacher is really good as a job in Korea and recently incredibly hard to pass the exam. It was different and so easy to be a teacher when old teachers became a teacher though. Teacher in Korea is one of the most favorite jobs for girls like a doctor and lawyer thing.”
In America, tenured positions have become as rare as unicorns, and it takes decades of consistent good performance to get one. And even then, if you put your hands on a kid or get a DUI, you can kiss that shit goodbye. The Korean public school system is so malincentivized and rife with cronyism it makes the NYPD look clean.
It's nice that the ministry of ed. has made it much harder to become a teacher just as they've done for foreigners, but there's still plenty of dead weight in cushy positions. And I do mean, DEAD weight, as in, English teachers who can't string together two sentences. If Korean teachers can't be touched for touching children, they're basically untouchable. But only because the MOE doesn't want to punish them. And the reason they don't want to? Because it would be an admission of guilt, and they would lose face.
Again, the dysfunction comes back to the poisonous, outdated culture of Confucianism. Never lose face, never admit wrongdoing, and never question an elder. Ignorance wrapped in oriental philosophy. By backing worthless teachers and protecting dangerous ones, they steal knowledge from children and keep them at risk of harm.