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Parents and students to join teacher evaluations

The government said yesterday that it will introduce teacher evaluations at all primary and secondary schools starting from the new semester in March.
Under the plan, teachers including principals are to be evaluated by students, parents and fellow teachers on 18 assessment categories.
Even though the result will not affect promotion chances and wages, underperforming teachers would be obliged to undergo special training programs, while high-performing teachers are to be given incentives.
"The implementation of the teacher evaluation system cannot be postponed any more. It will be fully enforced at all schools nationwide this year," Education Minister Ahn Byong-man said at a special committee meeting on the plan yesterday.
The system has been operated in its pilot stages over the past five years, with the number of participating schools increasing from 48 in 2005 to 3,164 in 2009.
The 16-member advisory committee consisting of education experts, teachers and parents held its first meeting and discussed the enforcement schedule and other policy details.
During the meeting, the ministry decided to lay out related regulations first by the end of next month, while the legislative process is still languishing during a flurry of discussions among lawmakers, teachers and parents.
In order to minimize possible confusion in the early stages, a reference manual will be offered by the ministry for each school to develop their own evaluation questionnaire.
The evaluation result and original questionnaire will be displayed at school websites and will be considered when local education authorities evaluate a school`s operating performance.
In December, the ministry conducted a survey on 26,000 parents and 26,000 teachers over the teacher evaluation system.
According to the survey results released on Wednesday, 86.4 percent of the parents and 69.2 percent of the teachers polled said they approve of the system.
Also from the survey, 85.6 percent of parents said that the system would be effective in raising students` and parents` satisfaction with school education while 64.7 percent of teachers said the same.
However, as to whether the evaluation results should affect teachers` promotion chances, 79.3 percent of parents polled said yes while only 30.2 percent of teachers agreed.

By Lee Ji-yoon
catch table
Korea Herald daum