Ministry of Education, despite losing all lawsuits against private high schools

Eun-hye Yoo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education

picture explanationEun-hye Yoo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education

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The Seoul, Busan and Gyeonggi Provincial Offices of Education were defeated in a lawsuit against the cancellation of the designation of their own high schools with 10 autonomous private high schools (own high schools), but the Ministry of Education reaffirmed its position that it would convert all private high schools, foreign language high schools, and international high schools into general high schools regardless of the lawsuit.

In a press release issued on the 31st, the Ministry of Education said, “We respect the judgment of the court of first instance regarding the disposition of revocation of the designation of own accident, but this is a judgment on the procedural issue of operational performance evaluation. The reorganization of the high school system for the transition to education will be carried out without any setbacks,” he said.

The Ministry of Education said, “Unlike its original purpose, the student selection rights granted to private high schools, foreign language high schools, and international high schools have had a significant negative impact on overall education, such as competition for high school admission, overheating of private education, and deepening inequality between classes by ranking schools according to grades, contrary to their original purpose.” explained the background of the transition.

The Seoul, Busan and Gyeonggi Offices of Education previously canceled the designation of their own high schools in 10 schools stating that they did not meet the criteria for redesignation of their own high schools in 2019, and the Ministry of Education agreed to cancel the designation.

In response, the court of first instance said, “At the time of the review on the designation and cancellation of self-school in 2019, there were many changes to the examination standards. I can’t,” he said, giving support to 10 private high schools over the past year and this year.

The Ministry of Education said on the same day that it respects the court’s judgment that there is a problem in the procedure, but did not apologize separately for the Ministry of Education’s consent to the cancellation of the designation, which was pointed out as an illegal procedure in the first trial.

Hee-yeon Cho, Superintendent of Education in Seoul

picture explanationHee-yeon Cho, Superintendent of Education in Seoul

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Controversy continues over the cancellation of the designation of private high schools by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Education.

In particular, Cho Hee-yeon, superintendent of Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, who sent two sons to foreign language high schools in Seoul, canceled the designation of eight private high schools in Seoul, including Jungang High School and Baejae High School.

In this regard, Superintendent Cho said at a press conference on the 3rd anniversary of his inauguration last month, “I humbly accept criticism about my children attending foreign high schools while insisting on the abolition of private high schools. It was a vocation given at the time,” he said, expressing his intention to cancel the designation.

Although all 10 private high schools won the first trial, their status will be maintained until February 2025 regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit.

The Ministry of Education amended the Enforcement Decree of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and decided to convert all private high schools, foreign high schools, and international high schools nationwide into general high schools on March 1, 2025.

The school corporation of 24 schools in the metropolitan area and international high schools filed a constitutional complaint in May last year, arguing that the conversion of private high schools to general high schools violates the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of operation and basic rights to operate private schools.

Meanwhile, on the same day, the Ministry of Education decided to agree to the Seoul Office of Education’s application to cancel the designation of Dongseong High School, Hangaram High School, and Sungmun High School, which had recently returned their high school status, and notified the Seoul Office of Education of the results.

Principals of private high schools urging Seoul Superintendent of Education Cho Hee-yeon to withdraw appeal

picture explanationPrincipals of private high schools urging Seoul Superintendent of Education Cho Hee-yeon to withdraw appeal

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