Tuesday, January 18, 2011

영어 선생 Hall of Shame Entry #7: 110 Korean Children Expelled From The Philippines

110 Korean Children Expelled From The Philippines While Learning English

Today, this news story came out of the Philippines.   The Korean students have been expelled out of the country, and the organizers have been jailed inside the Philippines.  As I would like to say, you can't make this stuff up.  There is a list of people that deserve a place in the 영어 선생 Hall of Shame.

What were the parents thinking?
The idea of going abroad for a short period of time to learn English is not new.  There are all sorts of camps, etc set up in English-speaking countries for just this reason.  There is the concept of "homestudy" where a student stays with a family in another country, and enters the local public or private school.  Many mothers bring their children to temporarily live outside Korea to enroll their children in a school of an English-speaking country.  How many of those students do this without the proper visa authorization is unknown.  However, the risk taken is not small.  Are the children, aged 10-16, supposed to know these rules?  Absolutely not: it was the parents' responsibility.

Coordinators Have Definitely Done Their Share
Let's call these people the Coordinators.  Their role here is to organize and liase with both the parents and the educators (teachers/school or facilities) in order to provide the English learning school.  These people really have no excuse whatsoever.  There are two possibilities.  Either they were inexperienced and did not understand or plan for the risks associated with not have the proper visas for the students.  Or, they were experienced and chose to overlook these rules.  Whichever one it is, the Coordinators also have a great deal of responsibility and deserve a place in the 영어 선생 Hall of Shame.

The Educators Are Also to Blame
The Seoul Gyopo Guide suggests that the blame largely rests on the parents of the students.  Nevertheless, the educators could have also established the institution as a vacation, or a camp, assuming that the students were not there on a permanent basis (i.e. longer than the 90 day visitation allowance).  The facts in the newspaper are not clear on this matter, so it is difficult to tell.  However, there are plenty of other students in foreign countries that have not been deported.  Whether or not this is simply due to insufficient enforcement of the law is unknown.  In any case, the educators should have known that there was a risk, and before accepting the students, that proof of a visa should have been verified.  At universities in the U.S., for example, this is an absolute requirement.

Who is to blame in this case is unclear.  It is irrelevant.  Parents, Coordinators and the educators richly deserve a place in the 영어 선생 Hall of Shame.  One thing is absolutely clear, however.  The students, 10-16 years old, are undoubtedly the victims.


Rosielmb said...

I would not wonder if there are cases like this happening in the Philippines. There are some people who wants to earn money even if they know it is illegal and they even know the consequences, yet, still they go on with the business and wait till the government or any authorities catch them. The children who are the victims suffer the consequences and they are innocent. I wish they could have realized this beforehand. By the way, I was just trying to search some stuff for our website http://www.grow-connect.com/ and saw this blog.

The Lost Seoul said...

Dear RosieImb

Thank you for the comment. I totally agree and was being (too) subtle about the point that you make. It is the most likely scenario that both the Coordinators and the educators simply ignored the law, and believe that enforcement of the law was unlikely. In any case, they deserve a place in the 영어 선생 Hall of Shame.

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