The bill was introduced at the request of the Association of Unemployed Teachers (AUT). The AUT consists of unemployed graduates of national colleges of education who no longer receive the job hiring privileges that had once been given to the students and graduates of national colleges of education.
Before October 1990, students and graduates of national colleges of education were awarded bonus points when in the process of employment as teachers. Arguing that this article violated the freedom of equal opportunity, the article was petitioned in the constitutional court. In October 1990, the article was nullified.
However, controversy continued as the amended article was also applied to those who had entered college before the article was amended. Students who had enrolled in national colleges of education before 1990 were deprived of what they expected to be their rightful privileges. And 12 years later, they are asking for a special budget subsidy for the hiring of the members of the AUT. This request ignited opposition from at private universities" colleges of education.
An emergency meeting of the National Association of the Faculties of Private Colleges of Education was held at Ewha on October 18. Professors and students from other private colleges of education gathered to protest against the bill.
Many agree that the members of the AUT were victimized by the new law. "The revised law should have been applied only to the students entering after 1991. In this sense, they were victimized," said Hwang Sun-young (Social Studies Education, 3), student president of Ewha"s? College of Education.
However, there is a general consensus that the AUT"s argument is absurd. "There are also graduates of private colleges of education who were blocked by the graduates of national colleges of education because they clogged up all the teaching positions," asserted Professor Kang Sun-ja (Science Education).
Currently, both the private colleges of education and the AUT are holding demonstrations. Ultimately, it will be up to the government to make the tough decisions.