We are now living in a society where prerequisite learning has overheated. As the matter about banning after-school English education in kindergarten became publicized, a heated debate about this situation surfaced. The Ministry of Education announced that afterschool English class in kindergarten will be banned in last December, but it reversed its decision in three weeks. Last January, the government announced that it would reconsider from the starting point due tithe concerns over the balloon effect1) which can lead to an increase in private education. In March of this year, it declared that it would make a decision through policy-deliberation system2). The procedures are summarized below. Accordingly, the Ministry plans to select an institute to promote it in early October and starts the related procedures. The Ministry expects that the final result will be announced in December after receiving related opinions from the public through two surveys. There are various reactions from parents. Those who do not empathize with the necessity of English education or are dissatisfied with existing early childhood English education are on the positive side. Parent Oh said, "I think it is more efficient to learn English after learning enough Korean education." Parent Kim also stated, “The level of English education at kindergartens is not that professional, and I cannot empathize with the fact that we should teach English to young children."In addition, parents who complain about additional costs for kindergarten English education welcomed the government announcement. However, most of the parents are on the opposite side of the argument. After the announcement byte Ministry, some parents present a petition to the government. Parent K pointed out, "In a situation where private English education is so prevalent, banning afterschool English education in kindergarten can cause gap in education.” saying “The purpose of preventing the colonization of elementary schools by banning prior study makes the gap between reality. " Also, there is another opinion that it only deepens the educational gap based on the economic level since private English kindergartens are not affected. In addition, parents expressed a negative view on banning the after-school English education, saying "It would cost hundreds or thousands of one to go to private English academies. According to the plan, it was to announce the organization to proceed with the public discussion. However, You Eun-hye, the minister of Education abruptly declared, "The Ministry of Education has decided to allow play-oriented after-school English Education.” Minister Yoo said "Parents are worried that if after-school English Education in kindergartens banned, the private education will increase. And it is right to give parents a choice to take English Education to their child to parents.” in an interview in the National Assembly. However, the controversy over the Ministry’s statement continues. A similar example of the systemic the recent controversy over the "three o'clock school “policy. The "3 p.m. school" policy is as follows. In August, the Presidential Committee on Aging Society announced that it would promote "the play school."The play schools mean let lower students go home at the learning hours. At this time, the extra hours will consist of play-based activities, counseling, and supplementary guidance. The purpose of the system is to strengthen school education and to solve the problem of the low birth rate by preventing a vacuum in caring time for the students. A recent survey of 1,674 conducted by the World Daily parents of elementary school students found that the percentage of opposition and approval for extending the time of school for students leaving school is similar. The pros and cons of the system are tense. The teachers' union, which opposed to school dismissal time at 3 p.m., says that the "play school” cannot be a fundamental solution to the problem of low birth rate and is not suitable for student development and current education Site Situation. Parents pointed out that lower-school student can be physically and mentally tired if they stay at school for a long time. Also, 95.2 percent of elementary school teachers argue against leaving school at 3 p.m. due to an increase in time for teachers to take responsibility for student safety. On the other hand, pro-government parents agree with this system saying it will help working families (29%). The Presidential Committee on Aging Society also supports the policy saying it will improve educational performance, solve the problems of lack of child care and reduce private education systematically. In rebuttal of opposition, the committee argues that it was inappropriate to discuss the 'three hour school’ simply, and in 2024, when it had been fully prepared, more play schools should be implemented nationwide. However, these arguments are hit a wall of reality. Following the announcement by the Ministry of Education in October, the plan to leave school at 3 p.m.in the lower grades of elementary school was put on hold. Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Yoo Eun-hye recently said that it is not appropriate for all students to remain in school until 3 p.m. and she said that she will make an alternative through the ongoing daycare classes. This means that the ministry will not press on leaving school at 3 p.m. Controversy still persists in the ministry's announcement. As shown above, there are many who agree with the aim of the ideal system related to public education but disagree with it considering the reality. Hwang Jung-kyu, the professor of Education said, "The best solution is to maintain a proper harmony which has strained tension between the ideal and reality while emphasizing the ideal on one side and reality on the other side.” In other words, it would better not to rule out the ideal because it is not compatible with reality, or should not be ignored to simply realize the ideals of public education. Like the Ministry of Education, which has changed its course toward play-oriented after-school acceptance and the ongoing daycare classes, the search for a compromise between ideal and reality is expected to continue.
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