On Monday, President Yoon Suk Yeol emphasized the importance of public education in childcare, reaffirming the government’s dedication to extending after-school programs to all elementary schools.
Yoon delivered these remarks during a government-public debate, which was the ninth session in a series focused on addressing people’s livelihood issues. The event was held at a public elementary school in Gwangju, located just outside Seoul.
“Public education should hold a central role in a democratic society’s educational framework, and ultimately, schools should serve as the core of public education,” Yoon asserted. He further emphasized that childcare falls within the scope of the president’s constitutional duty.
Yoon additionally highlighted the government’s intention to expand after-school education programs to encompass all elementary schools.
Under this program, first-grade students are eligible for care services from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. This initiative underwent a pilot test for first-grade students at 459 elementary schools in 2023.
“(The program) will be extended to 2,000 schools by the first half of the year, covering all schools by the latter half, and by 2026, all elementary school children will have access to the service,” stated Yoon. Referring to a survey, Yoon noted that 83.6 percent of prospective parents expressed interest in participating in after-school care services.
“As the president, my foremost objective is to establish a nation that prioritizes children, ensuring they have a happy environment,” stated Yoon. Following input from teachers and parents, Yoon affirmed that the government would allocate ample budgetary resources to the program while upholding a prudent fiscal policy.
The education ministry revealed that the government intends to recruit 2,250 temporary teachers for the program in the first half of the year, along with an additional 6,000 personnel in the latter half.
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