I spent time to have coffee with a friend from Seoul, South Korea this morning.
Over cookies and coffee cake, we talked about many things. From our children, our summer to our professions (that sometimes ago we had).
What I love from our conversation was that I learned so much from her.
Once she told me a story of Japanese occupation that changed Korea a lot. Something that I 've never heard before. On another time she told me a story about how people of South Korea has worked so hard to be able to be like they are today. The lesson learned from every story never fails to impress me.
Today when we talked about our job before our decision to be a full-time mum, I realized on how people of South Korea understand the importance of education to develop their country. Basically, they realized that education is the only way to make South Korea categorized as first world country.
A teacher in South Korea has a very good salary that they can live with dignity. (OOT, even in France a teacher should come from middle to upper class society, so they are also well-respected). It's not what knowledge or skill of the teacher anymore that they concern about. It's the fact that a teacher, the most important person in educating our children in order to advance the nation, should be treated well and respected by the community and the government, so the children can learn from a very well-respected and well-educated people.
Meanwhile, the government and/or an education council themselves determine the ideal condition that the nation wants to achieve (big mission/vision?), set the goals and objectives, what competences that need to be taught in order to achieve the goals and objectives, design a curriculum all the way to an action plan to be executed by the teachers. But again, because the frontliners here will be the teachers, it's crucial to attract the best, brightest and passionate people to become teachers, and make sure that if they choose that profession they can live with dignity too.
In South Korea, teachers face a strict law on how they should treat students. On the other hand, they are also working under a good law that make them can have peace of mind about what they are doing as government almost like "guarantee" that they will have their job. Of course unless they do something terribly horribly bad. Also, to attract more bright people to become a teacher, they fully support those who decides to study to be a teacher, financially.
All in all, what the country does to make sure that they have enough teachers for the whole nation and that teachers can live properly so they can focus on their job, shows that they consider education is very very important.
Shall we do the same?