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Ministry of Education does not accept the recommendation to formulate strategies for the support of migrant children in early childhood education
Date : 2023.12.22 13:35:11 Hits : 300

Ministry of Education does not accept the recommendation to formulate strategies for the support of migrant children in early childhood education.



    On July 6, 2023, the National Human Rights Commission (Chairperson Song Doo-hwan, hereinafter "NHRCK"), put forth recommendations to the Minister of Education: The NHRCK emphasized the need to prevent discrimination against non-citizen migrant children residing in the Republic of Korea in accessing tuition support for early childhood education. The NHRCK advised the establishment of a consultative group, comprising essential central administrative agencies and expert figures, dedicated to formulating extensive strategies to enhance and expand the scope of early childhood education support for migrant children.

 

    In response, on October 27, 2023, the Ministry of Education announced that starting from March 2024, through enactment and revision of ordinances and utilization of their budgets, all 17 city and provincial education offices across the country will extend the same tuition support to foreign-national children attending kindergarten as is provided to Korean children. Additionally, the Ministry indicated that should the integration of early childhood education and childcare systems be actualized by the anticipated 2025 timeline, they would develop methods to support the tuition of foreign-national children in daycare centers through various consultative groups.

 

    The NHRCK Committee on the Child Rights, led by committee Chair and Standing Commissioner Lee Choong Sang, has determined that the Ministry of Education's response falls short of fully implementing the Committee's recommendations. This assessment is based on the Ministry's indication that methods for expanding tuition support for early childhood education would be developed post-integration of early childhood education and childcare systems. However, the Committee noted that the Ministry's implementation plans were insufficiently detailed and lacked comprehensive supporting documentation.


    The NHRCK advocates for heightened societal awareness and support regarding the education and caregiving of migrant children. It emphasizes the importance of preventing the establishment of unfair disparities from infancy and early childhood, which are crucial developmental stages. The NHRCK urges responsible agencies to take more proactive measures in formulating relevant policies. This statement is issued under Article 25 (6) of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea Act.


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