South Korea Had Its First Ever Teacher Strike

South Korea Had Its First Ever Teacher Strike

‘Bypass Strike’ by Teachers to Protect Teaching Rights in Korea

For the first time in history in Korea, a nationwide “bypass strike” by teachers to protect teaching rights began on September 4, 2023.

The nationwide mood of mourning sparked by the death of female teacher, who was in her first year of teaching at Seoyi Elementary School in Seocho-gu, Seoul, is reaching its peak on the 49th day* of her death.

*49 Days After Dath : In many Buddhist traditions, the full period of mourning is 49 days, during which time prayers are offered seven days a week for seven weeks. It’s common for it to be conducted in Korea.

Designating September 4 As “Stop Public Education Day”

South Korea Had Its First Ever Teacher Strike_02

Teachers across the country have designated this day as “Stop Public Education Day” and have launched a work stoppage through annual leave, sick leave, and discretionary leave. Such a collective action to protect teaching rights has been almost unprecedented in the past.

More than 30 elementary schools across the country have already decided to take a discretionary leave of absence today. Even if it is not in the form of a temporary closure, many schools have announced changes such as shortened lessons and reading guidance.

The Minister of the Ministry of Education Launched an Ultra-Hardline Response

South Korea Had Its First Ever Teacher Strike_03

However, clashes are feared as the Ministry of Education has launched an ultra-hardline response, calling the teachers’ bypass strike an illegal act and threatening dismissal.

The ministry is pressing hard on the teachers. “Teachers must be with their students,” said Minister of the Ministry of Education Lee Ju-ho.

Three teachers have died in the past three days, making the strike more tragic in Korea.

On August 31, an elementary school teacher in Yangcheon, Seoul, on September 1, an elementary school teacher in Gunsan, and on September 3, a high school teacher in Yongin, Gyeonggi, have passed away.

Three teachers passed away in three days, just one day ahead of “Stop Public Education Day.”

In particular, police reportedly obtained statements from the bereaved families that the deceased were “severely stressed due to recent parental complaints.”

Some Notes

  • On Sept. 4, 2023, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., a memorial space for citizens will be set up at Seoyi Elementary School Sports Complex.
  • At 4:30 pm, a rally will be held on the boulevard in front of the Seoul National Assembly.
  • Education universities such as Seoul National University, Kyungin University, Chuncheon National University, and Hankuk University of Education will also hold a “Rally for the 49th Day of Seoyi Elementary School Teacher’s Death” at around 7:00 pm.
    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Connecting people from around the world to South Korea. We believe that every country and culture matters.
    Our Products

    Subscribe to the UoH Weekly Snippet

    The essential weekly round-up for news, analysis, and breaking news alerts in Korea.
    Receive news, offers and invites from UoH Our newsletters may include 3rd-party advertising, by subscribing you agree to the
    Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy.
    UoH ©2023 On Curiosities Co. All rights reserved. For more information read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Cookie Policy and Accessibility Statement