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Hagwon hiring sex criminals face fines

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Published : 2011-01-05 18:58
Updated : 2011-01-05 18:58

Educational institutes will face a fine of up to 10 million won ($8,800) if found to have hired sex offenders, Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education said Wednesday.

Under a related revision, which will take effect from February, institute owners will be obliged to check new teachers’ and other employees’ records for sex crimes.

If the owner violates the rule or makes a false report of a sex crime committed by an employee, he or she can be fined up to 5 million won.

A maximum fine of 10 million won will be imposed if the owner continues to employ sex offenders despite a warning from the education authorities.

The new penalty measure is an addition to a revision enacted last April which bans child sex offenders from being hired at youth facilities, such as schools, private institutes and kindergartens, for 10 years after the day they complete a sentence or the sentence is suspended.

However, the revision itself is not widely known and no punishment measure was included, with the education authorities failing to properly screen past offenders at youth facilities.

“In order to get permission to establish an educational institute, the owner has been obliged to have all their employees checked for a record of sexual crime. However, there was no way to oblige the crime check for those already approved,” said an education official.

The Seoul education office plans to hold a meeting with educational institute owners Thursday before it finalizes the revision details.

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)