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Assembly panel passes bill banning ‘advanced learning’

A parliamentary committee on Tuesday passed a special bill that aims to prohibit Korean students from taking courses beyond their regular academic schedule mostly via private education ― a practice known here as “advanced learning.”

The new bill, proposed by Rep. Kang Eun-hee of the Saenuri Party and Rep. Lee Sang-min of the Democratic Party, is expected to add weight to President Park Geun-hye’s policy of promoting public education.

Last Thursday, Park voiced concern against what is called “excessive English education” that leads to an increase in private education fees. The country’s private education market is estimated at 19.4 trillion won ($17.9 billion).

The bill, if enacted, would ban all “advanced learning” of elementary, middle and high school curriculum at schools and forbids private education institutes from carrying advertisements of advanced learning. It also prohibits universities from giving entrance exam questions that are not included in the high school curriculum.

By Yoon Min-sik (