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Korean schools mulled to teach migrant workers

The government is considering establishing Korean language institutes in foreign countries that send workers to Korea through the employment permit system.

The institutes would introduce Korean culture and language to permit workers, the Ministry of Employment and Labor said Tuesday.

Further details have yet to be drawn up but the administration is reportedly looking to set up the language institutes, known as “Sejonghakdang,” in four or five countries, mostly in Southeast Asia.

The countries to host the institutes will be chosen from among the 15 nations that currently send permit workers to Korea. Selector will consider the number of dispatched laborers and demand for Korean language education.

The ministry will request that the countries apply for the establishment of the institutes, officials said.

Sejonghakdang is a state-funded Korean educational facility and program for foreigners who want to learn Korean. It has 165 domestic campuses and 456 in foreign countries.

Officials believe the establishment of the institutes will help enhance the communication ability of foreign workers here, reducing the risk of industrial disputes and increasing their productivity.

“We are still at the beginning stage of our plan. We have shared the idea with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and it will take some time to come up with a specific plan,” a Labor Ministry official said.

By Bae Ji-sook (baejisook@heraldcorp.com)
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