May 16, 2023
SEOUL – A majority of Korean teachers said they wouldn’t choose to teach if they had the choice, as job satisfaction for the profession hit an all-time low, a survey showed Sunday.
Some 80 percent of 6,751 teachers at kindergarten, elementary, middle and high schools and university said in the poll they wouldn’t be teachers if they were born again, according to the Korean Federation of Teachers’ Associations.
When asked if they were satisfied with pursuing a career in teaching, only 23.6 percent of the respondents answered “yes.” The figure plummeted from 67.8 percent in 2006 in the same survey.
The survey was released on the occasion of the 42nd Teachers’ Day, which falls on May 15 in South Korea.
Some of the predominant challenges professional educators face at their workplaces were teaching unruly students with maladjusted personalities, and those that display problematic behaviors, and difficulty maintaining a healthy relationship with parents while dealing with their complaints, the survey found.
Teachers also reported a lack of interest in educating students, a decline in enthusiasm and distrust in the education system. The survey also found that the burden of administrative chores plagued teachers.
The survey explained that the alarmingly high rate of dissatisfaction among instructors working in education is a growing problem, adding that working and employment conditions for teachers need an upgrade.
Out of 11,148 educational violence and misconduct cases in the last five years, violence directed at teachers accounted for 7.9 percent, according to data released by the Ministry of Education last year on the infringement of teachers’ rights.
The number of educators who needed counseling due to student misconduct and violence nearly doubled within the decade, from 287 cases in 2011 to 437 cases in 2021.