South Korean Government is in plans to boost Korean language education for multiethnic students
Increasing Language Education for Multicultural Pupils
In a move to help children of multiethnic families overcome obstacles due to language barriers, the government announced it would enhance Korean language education. Specifically, 40 Korean language courses will be created to operate in 33 cities and counties, focusing on schools with over 100 students, of whom at least 30% are from multiethnic families. As of last year, 71 such schools existed, with 16 of them having a student body where over half were from multicultural families. These new courses will commence at the close of 2024, with a duration that spans from three months to a year.
Commissioned Education: A Measure to Alleviate Pressure on Schools
Remarkably, these courses will happen outside the learning institutions, under commissioned education programs. This strategy is meant to reduce the workload on local schools and educators. According to a ministry official, the programs will start in regions with high populations of multiracial families, with potential expansion plans to other areas if deemed necessary.
Part of a Five-Origin Scheme to Enhance Diversity in Schools
The education ministry is incorporating this measure as part of a strategic five-year plan to provide equal education opportunities to an increasingly diverse student population. Enacted due to a consistent rise of students from multicultural families, this initiative saw the percentage of such students in elementary, middle, and high schools climb from 1.1% in 2014 to 3.5% in 2021. Language has been cited as one of the significant challenges these students face when integrating into Korean society.
Further Plans: Expanding and Utilizing Additional Resources
Other strategies include enlarging programs where university students give custom, one-on-one Korean language classes and advice to students from multiethnic families. The government targets to double local university students’ participation in such programs from 4,000 this year to about 8,000 by 2024.
Moreover, the government plans to leverage around 220 lecturers proficient in multicultural family matters from the Ministry of Justice and additional 450 lecturers, specializing in marriage counseling to multi-ethnic couples, from The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family.
Dedication to Multicultural Education and Technological Integration
To assist students with homework, the government will run online Korean language courses powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), offering insights into each student’s learning levels, strengths, and areas of improvement.
Additionally, the government will collaborate with companies to create scholarships for students exhibiting outstanding bilingual skills. These scholarships will be paid monthly until the recipient graduates from university.
In a bid to offer bilingual education and embrace an understanding of different cultures, the government plans to establish approximately 200 institutions by the end of 2024. All students will be welcomed to partake in these programs.
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