ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on September 15th, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Foreign Schools In Korea Linked To Admissions Fraud Involving Chaebol Families

I guess this is an example of the Gangnam Style that PSY sings about:

At least three foreign schools — Dwight School Seoul, Dulwich College Seoul and Korea International School — are under investigation for a large-scale admission fraud case involving dozens of scions from chaebol families, sources said Friday.

Prosecutors plan to question some 60 parents of children who have been accepted to the schools on suspicion of fabricating passports and admission documents.

They include chaebol offspring, along with children of renowned law firm members and hospital heads, the sources said.

The prosecution is examining whether the schools were aware of the manipulation. It raided the schools last week to secure evidence.

Investigators of Incheon District Prosecutors’ Office said they grilled the wife of a lawyer who works for the nation’s largest law firm Kim & Chang. A day earlier, the son and daughter-in-law of a former Hyundai Motor Group vice chairman were quizzed, too.

They are part of more than 60 parents who have been or will be summoned by next week on suspicions of enabling their children to enter the three foreign schools by fabricating enrollment documents about their nationality and periods of living overseas.

“Most of the students who entered the schools through illegal means are children of families in high-income brackets living in the affluent Gangnam district. Among their parents were the children of conglomerates and heads of investment firms, skin care clinics and a golf practice range,” a prosecutor said.  [Korea Times]

You can read the rest at the link, but the foreign schools are supposed to only be for foreigners or Koreans that have lived abroad for more than 3 years thus the reason for the corruption to get their kids into the school.

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  • guitard
    4:12 pm on September 15th, 2012 1

    Why do they have a rule in Korea that doesn’t allow parents to send their kids to these private schools unless the kids have been overseas?

  • tbonetylr
    4:12 pm on September 15th, 2012 2

    “The prosecution is examining whether the schools were aware of the manipulation. It raided the schools last week to secure evidence.”

    I’m sure they can somehow find some foreigners somewhere to blame.

    “Investigators of Incheon District Prosecutors’ Office said they grilled the wife of a lawyer who works for the nation’s largest law firm Kim & Chang.”

    Well, nothing will happen to her.

    Oh the irony, in another Korea Herald article we even have Koreans pretending to be Africans…
    http://view.koreaherald.com/kh/view.php?ud=20120914000843
    “The parents are said to have paid between 50 million won ($45,000) and 100 million won for forged passports and citizenship documents of South American and African nations.”

  • tbonetylr
    4:23 pm on September 15th, 2012 3

    #1,
    Because it’s a “foreign” school for “foreigners.” These schools are designed for parents(not military or English teacher parents) that work for foreign companies and get paid big bucks however there aren’t enough of those parent types since Korea can’t attract enough foreign companies as they usually get raided and later spend a lot of time in Korean courts.

  • guitard
    4:33 pm on September 15th, 2012 4

    If your kid can hang academically, and you have the financial means – why should you be denied the opportunity to send your kid to one of these schools?

  • tbonetylr
    4:54 pm on September 15th, 2012 5

    There are plenty of rich Korean kids who can pass tests but rules are rules and right now Koreans aren’t allowed to enter. If they were, how would you select the kids? Unfortunately it’s not usually about the kids academics, it’s about the parents and which ones are more powerful or in this case deceitful.

  • guitard
    5:07 pm on September 15th, 2012 6

    There are plenty of rich Korean kids who can pass tests but rules are rules and right now Koreans aren’t allowed to enter. If they were, how would you select the kids?

    How would you select them? The same way you do it in the States.

    It’s the law of supply and demand. If there is more demand than supply – some enterprising individual will build another school until the system is saturated.

  • JoeC
    5:18 pm on September 15th, 2012 7

    This is Korea’s equivalent of the 1 percent’s access and means to things unavailable to the 99 percent. Only now, the courts have decided to take on the 1 percent.

    There must be an election coming. :roll:

  • JoeC
    5:20 pm on September 15th, 2012 8

    correction: I meant the prosecutors not the courts.

  • tbonetylr
    5:21 pm on September 15th, 2012 9

    #6,
    “some enterprising individual will build another school”

    The Korean gov’t wouldn’t let that happen, that would be like admitting the Korean officials within the education system or schools themselves weren’t good enough.

  • Vince
    6:19 pm on September 15th, 2012 10

    #9- Same issue in the USA.

  • guitard
    6:35 pm on September 15th, 2012 11

    #6,
    “some enterprising individual will build another school”

    The Korean gov’t wouldn’t let that happen, that would be like admitting the Korean officials within the education system or schools themselves weren’t good enough.

    There are lots of private schools in Korea:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Private_schools_in_South_Korea

  • XYZ
    7:17 pm on September 15th, 2012 12

    Yup another example where foreigners in Korea are given preferential treatment with better education, at the expense of Korean tax payer’s money.

  • Teadrinker
    7:26 pm on September 15th, 2012 13

    #12,

    What part of ‘private school’ don’t you understand?

  • Teadrinker
    7:27 pm on September 15th, 2012 14

    …And no, unlike most ‘private’ schools in Korea, which receive government subsidies, the international schools really are private schools

  • Teadrinker
    7:38 pm on September 15th, 2012 15

    In any case, my kid goes to an international school. It’s not cheap, and, yes, his Korean friends aren’t exactly poor…but all of them spent a good portion of their lives abroad. Competition for admission is stiff. I can’t stress that enough. For example, one of his friends, a very nice kid who was born and raised abroad who struggles when he speaks in Korean, didn’t even make the cut.

    So, they are doing the right thing to investigate those chaebol kids’ parents. The fact they appear to have gotten preferential treatment although there is no shortage of parents who want to send their kids to these schools (kids who legally qualify too) suggests that something fishy is going on.

  • Baek In-je
    8:06 pm on September 15th, 2012 16

    I see nothing wrong with rich Koreans circumventing the legal system to get their kids into schools that were designed for international students. If those foreign kids cannot get into the foreign schools, they should have been in Korea anyway. Kind of like if you were to get into an car accident with a Korean, they argue that you shouldn’t be in Korea anyway.

    I see nothing wrong with a rich Korean family having an Ecuadorian adopt their child so that he can get into one of these foreign schools.

    “Please understand our culture.”

  • Teadrinker
    8:28 pm on September 15th, 2012 17

    #16,

    Sarcasm or missing the point I was making? There is no shortage of kids who can and do apply to these schools. They don’t have an open door policy since there is only a finite number of kids they can placed in each class, after all. So, competition is stiff.

  • guitard
    8:28 pm on September 15th, 2012 18

    Baek In-je wrote:

    Kind of like if you were to get into an car accident with a Korean, they argue that you shouldn’t be in Korea anyway.

    You obviously don’t know very much about Korean culture. When a Korean gets in a car accident with a foreigner – his eyes light up with dollar signs like he just hit the lottery.

  • kangaji
    8:38 pm on September 15th, 2012 19

    우리 아들은 특별한 아이입니다! ㅋㅋㅋㅋ

  • Teadrinker
    8:47 pm on September 15th, 2012 20

    #18,

    :roll:

    They don’t look at the driver, the look at the car. If you’re driving an old beater, odds are you got crap insurance, and so they might be able to intimidate you into paying more. If you’re driving a decent car, odds are you’re well insured and screwing them over is as hard as squeezing water out of a stone. If you’re driving an import, the other driver is shitting bricks because if he’s found liable, he’s screwed because is own insurance won’t cover enough to pay for the damages to your car.

  • Teadrinker
    8:48 pm on September 15th, 2012 21

    …’them’ being the good insurance companies.

  • Teadrinker
    8:58 pm on September 15th, 2012 22

    #19,

    F’em if their kids don’t qualify, either for visa reasons or because they are too dumb to make the cut. Some of my in-laws, Americans born and raised, ended up going to public school here. Imagine being a 13 year-old Korean-American kid who can’t speak Korean very well ending up in public school where teachers scream at you because they think you’re just pretending you don’t understand.

  • guitard
    9:15 pm on September 15th, 2012 23

    They don’t look at the driver, the look at the car.

    If you’re driving an import, the other driver is shitting bricks because if he’s found liable . . .

    If he (a Korean) is found liable in an accident involving him and a foreigner?

    You’re joking right??

    Case in point: an American co-worker friend of mine was driving through an intersection – where the light had been green for as long as he could see it. A Korean blew through a red light and slammed into the passenger side of my co-worker’s new Volvo – and when it was all said and done – my co-worker had to pay the Korean 4 million won for injuries the Korean sustained that supposedly required four weeks of treatment.

  • Teadrinker
    9:38 pm on September 15th, 2012 24

    #23,

    Your co-worker had to pay 4 million won out of his own pocket? So, basically, he’s told you he’s a sucker. Unless he had the cheapest insurance he could get, which is a pretty dumb thing to do when you’re driving here, he shouldn’t have paid a red cent.

    Trust me, I’ve been in car accidents here (given how people drive, I’m surprised I haven’t been in more). I just call my insurance company and they take care of everything. Last time, it was with a taxi that had cut me off. The guy started complaining he had a backache at the police station while we were filling out the repor. I told him to cut the BS, he won’t get any money from and to take that up with my insurance company. I never heard from him again and my premiums didn’t go up.

  • Teadrinker
    9:42 pm on September 15th, 2012 25

    …and they pull the same shit with Korean drivers, too. There are plenty of people who cheap out on the insurance, thinking they’re saving money by paying 100 000won less per year for the basic insurance or going with some no-name insurance broker, and many more who would rather pay 4 million like your friend did than have their premiums go up 30 000won per year (which is what mine did after the first accident I had). People make stupid decisions. It’s got nothing to do with being Korean or not.

  • guitard
    9:47 pm on September 15th, 2012 26

    It’s got nothing to do with being Korean or not.

    Huh??

    It was a simple case of my co-worker’s word against the Korean’s word.

    Guess who the police sided with?

  • Teadrinker
    9:59 pm on September 15th, 2012 27

    #26,

    His word against the other guy’s? Proof enough that he got his insurance through some mickey mouse operation that caters to foreigners. When getting car insurance here, chose one that’s provide from one of the two largest chaebols. Full insurance through them is often no more expensive than basic from some other companies, and you can’t be the service they provide. Heck, my friend was in an accident in the middle of nowhere (skidded on ice), called his insurance company (one of the big ones). No need to explain where he was. They found him by tracing his cell phone signal. Had he gone cheap, he would have been shit out of luck.

  • Teadrinker
    10:00 pm on September 15th, 2012 28

    Correction…one that’s provided by…

  • Teadrinker
    10:01 pm on September 15th, 2012 29

    Dammit…and you can’t beat the service…

  • JoeC
    10:05 pm on September 15th, 2012 30

    I was reading this at the Korea4Expats website.

    Having to pay a 24 million won tuition per child annually certainly does seem like receiving preferential treatment at the expense of Korean tax payers.

    However, a few of statements in that posting seem contradictory to me.

    Since learning English is very important to Koreans and since many of them wish to have their children attend universities abroad, attending an international school is an attractive option to many affluent Koreans. Consequently, a number of ‘international’ schools have had a large Korean population, sometimes over 90%.

    Class size is limited in most of the international schools and new students will not be admitted if the limit has been reached for a particular grade or in the ESL program.

    Some of the schools have quite long waiting lists, especially if your child is not already fluent in English (there is a quota on the number of ESL students per class in most schools).

    So, if the schools have some limit or quota for ESL students, what is the criteria for deciding that a child will be ESL or not? If a Korean child has lived in an English speaking country for 3 or more years and becomes fluent in English, does that mean that English is no longer his/her second language?

    My understanding is that students may also be enrolled from expat families in Korea from other countries where English is also not their primary language.

    Or maybe, when it says, “there is a quota on the number of ESL students per class in most schools”, they actually mean “there is a quota on the number of [students who require ESL classes or assistance] per class in most schools”?

    By any standard, with limits to the number of ESL student enrollment, a 90 percent native Korean enrollment seems inexplicable.

  • JoeC
    10:07 pm on September 15th, 2012 31

    correction: “certainly does NOT seem like receiving preferential treatment at the expense of Korean tax payers.”

  • guitard
    10:19 pm on September 15th, 2012 32

    By any standard, with limits to the number of ESL student enrollment, a 90 percent native Korean enrollment seems inexplicable.

    Have you ever been in one of the DoDDS schools on post? I’ll bet half the kids are Korean. Of course, most of them are children of Korean-American employees.

    Years ago, I visited my son’s class at the on-base elementary school. The kids sat at round tables with around eight kids per table. I noticed at all but one table, the only language being spoken was Korean. The exception was this one table which only had white and black kids. I asked the teaching assistant if it was normal for so many of the kids to speak to each other in Korean and she just sighed and said, “We try really hard to get them to speak English, because we know it’s the only time many of the kids get to hear English all day . . . but there is only so much we can do.”

  • Baek In-je
    10:39 pm on September 15th, 2012 33

    The bottom line is that Koreans are cheating…again.

  • Teadrinker
    11:53 pm on September 15th, 2012 34

    “We try really hard to get them to speak English, because we know it’s the only time many of the kids get to hear English all day . . . but there is only so much we can do.”

    Such a defeatist attitude wouldn’t fly very far in Canada. When I was in school, most kids were fluent in both official languages. As if the teachers would allow this to take place in the classroom, or even the halls.

  • tbonetylr
    2:48 am on September 16th, 2012 35

    #’s 10 & 11,
    Read #13, then tell my why those Korean Chaebol families don’t lie and cheat(say they’re Africans) to get into those “public/private” schools?

  • Sonagi
    5:06 am on September 16th, 2012 36

    @Teadrinker,#24,

    I don’t know what kind of public school you attended in Canada, but the consensus of now middle-aged friends and colleagues in Korea was that English-speaking kids hated learning French and never attained fluency. One friend decided against a career as a French teacher because she did!’t want to teach students uninterested in learning the language. A Canadian couple I knew in China had more success with their young kids attending an immersion school. Age makes a difference, too. Elementary kids are willing to speak English while some secondary kids, including those born in the US and educated here since kindergarten, may choose to speak Spanish as much as possible in school. In elementary there is no self-segregation, but in our secondary schools, there is. Blacks and whites mix seamlessly 60 years after ex-governor Harry Byrd led Massive Resistance against desegregation while bilingual Spanish-English speakers tend to socialize in their own groups. Every school has its own cultural climate, so it’s difficult to generalize about schools with a large bilingual population.

  • Teadrinker
    6:05 pm on September 16th, 2012 37

    #36,
    “I don’t know what kind of public school you attended in Canada, but the consensus of now middle-aged friends and colleagues in Korea was that English-speaking kids hated learning French and never attained fluency.”

    Blame unilingual pride. Some anglophones still have a colonial attitude. They learn that from their parents.

  • Teadrinker
    6:10 pm on September 16th, 2012 38

    …I’ve served in the military with one such person, a reservist whose full time job was working in the stockroom at a department store, who thought of himself as superior to me and my friends because he was unilingual anglophone, while we were francophones who’ve acquired a rather good command of English. Never mind the fact that I had a degree in science, another guy was top of his class in pre-med (and I’m sure he’s a doctor by now), and the other was nurse.

    That’s the side of the story your friends didn’t tell you about.

  • Stephen
    6:18 pm on September 16th, 2012 39

    All very noblesse oblige of you Teadrinker, however, as (along with Sonagi and T-bone) one of the resident Korean education experts, the question remains: why are these chaebol families gaming the international school system?

    What do they gain from it? You’ve explained what they lose from it; the “hell” of a Korean public high school.

  • Teadrinker
    6:27 pm on September 16th, 2012 40

    #39,

    There’s a variety of reasons, but I’m guessing it stems from the old yangban sense of entitlement. It’s the same reason why they pull strings so their kids don’t have to do their military service.

  • Stephen
    6:50 pm on September 16th, 2012 41

    Teadrinker, thanks for that explanation. As you say, the yangban sense of entitlement explains many things in Korea.

  • Baek In-je
    11:18 pm on September 16th, 2012 42

    Stephen,
    I think you are uncertain of the meaning of “noblesse oblige.”

  • Stephen
    7:24 pm on September 17th, 2012 43

    Bark In-je what are you implying?

    Noblesse oblige ≠ Yangban sense of entitlement

  • Sonagi
    3:39 am on September 20th, 2012 44

    @ Treadrinker,

    So genetic and territorial descendants of one Eurooean colonial power not wanting to the learn the language of the descendants of another European colonial power are showing a”colonial attitude”? Wow, that’s a stretch. Two of these Candians were born to Dutch and Polish immigrant parents who learned English as adults. Maybe some people just don’t like learning another language, especially if they have no immediate use for it.

  • Glans
    4:06 am on September 20th, 2012 45

    Maybe he meant a colonic attitude.

  • TheTruth
    1:57 am on September 27th, 2012 46

    I have seen the passports of kids form one of these schools, Most of the Korean students have lived abroad for three years or more but a few had Guatemalan passports and spoke only Korean with a tiny bit of English.
    In a class of around twenty kids there was only about 2 who’s nationality made me wonder.
    The admissions departments of these schools should be able to spot this, Money talks.
    Blame the parents who are willing to obtain forged documentation for this and for wanting to get their children the best education money can buy in their eyes

  • Dwight New York Faculty
    4:08 pm on December 18th, 2012 47

    I’m not surprised at all. The Dwight Schools, especially Dwight New York, has manipulated admissions for decades. This is what happens to schools that award As for 5-6 figure donations to Dwight’s “Foundation”…

 

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