Ministry of Education assigns W600b to “recovery of education”

Students attend an elementary school in Seoul on March 14. (Yonhap)

The Ministry of Education announced on Monday that it will inject 600 billion won ($492.69 million) into its “resumption of education” project to provide academic and psychological support to students who have faced to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.

As Korea’s social distancing rules are expected to take a new turn in the gradual return to normalcy, the ministry is set to draft a new guideline for the control and prevention of infectious diseases in schools.

“This week, we will have a meeting with the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency to revise the quarantine guidelines,” Ryu Hye-suk, head of the ministry’s Student Support Office, said during a briefing. press conference held on Monday.

Ahead of developing new guidelines for the next phase of the pandemic, the ministry announced plans to support students both academically and psychologically while improving the overall educational environment.

To make up for the academic deficit caused by the pandemic, teachers or instructors will lead classes for small groups of one to five students during extracurricular hours or semester vacations. Students who wish to participate can take courses in math, English and more.

College students, enrolled in programs trained to become teachers, must tutor elementary and middle school students, consulting with them on learning, relationships, and future prospects.

The ministry also hopes to improve grades by increasing the number of teachers and faculty members.

While 2,300 schools are offering a one-class, two-teacher system, this year 3,000 schools are to offer the program, to provide a more suitable learning environment for students, the ministry said.

As part of the plan, the ministry also plans to connect schools with psychiatrists to hold virtual and in-person sessions for all students in need.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education said the number of confirmed cases among students was declining after peaking in the second week of March, as the overall wave of omicron in Korea slowly stabilized.

While students accounted for 17.7% of Korea’s total confirmed cases in the first week of March, the number rose to 18.6% in the second week, dropping to 15% the following week. In the last week of March, the figure stood at 14.6%.

More and more students are taking classes in person. As of March 28, 86% of students were in face-to-face classes, which is an increase of 3.8 percentage points from 82.2% on March 7. Up to 92% of preschools, elementary, middle and high schools across the country adhere to the “regular attendance” curriculum as well.

By Im Eun-byel ([email protected])