Last day of parliamentary interpellation session focuses on educationUpdated: 2014-06-20 22:53:05 (KST)
President Park Geun-hye's Cabinet re-shuffle is stuck in first gear.
First, there were the controversies surrounding her two picks for prime minister, the first of which had to step aside.
Now her selection for education minister, Kim Myung-soo, is embattled, accused of plagiarizing a dissertation written by one of his students while acting as a professor.
"Why do scandals endlessly pop up for high-level nominees of important governmental posts?"
"It's hard to say, as people have different standards when judging a suitable candidate. Some put the emphasis on morality; others look at one's capabilities to execute tasks. We must abide by what the general public can accept."
Opposition party lawmakers during Friday's hearing also raised concerns about Kim's conservative stance on historical and educational issues saying it could set the stage for clashes with liberal school superintendents who were elected in the June 4th local elections.
As for the nation's current education minister, Seo Nam-soo answered questions about the direction of education in Korea.
"Korea needs a paradigm shift in education. How should it change?"
"In the wake of the Sewol-ho ferry disaster, we need to raise awareness of safety. We also need to foster an environment where education is not just focused on passing college entrance exams, but also cultivating personalities."
The education minister said the government was doing all it can to reduce class sizes and encourage schools to promote more extracurricular activities.
"Lawmakers said Korea's future lies in how well we educate our children and that education should not be swayed by political ideologies.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News."
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