Friday, July 3, 2009

Fame, fortune for Web tutors in education-crazy South Korea

SEOUL (Reuters) - For a teacher who never sees his students and instructs only online, South Korean Woo Hyeong-cheol makes a lot of money, $4 million a year to be exact.

Woo is not affiliated with any institution that is part of the official school system, but the 46-year-old math instructor is considered one of the best cram school tutors in education-obsessed South Korea, with his Web-based classes as well-known among test-taking teens as top-rated TV dramas.

"School teachers are concerned about creating moral people. We focus more on getting the students better grades in a short amount of time. That's why we are needed and popular," said Woo, who commands a salary higher than almost all of the top baseball players in the country's professional league.

Woo is among a group of about a dozen instructors raking it in because they are thought to be the best at raising scores.

Click here to read the complete article 7/2/09 Washington Post

Male teachers an endangered species?

Education Secretary Jesli A. Lapus said male teachers were a vanishing breed, accounting for only a very small portion of the entire teacher population in the country at present.

IN THE LAST Licensure Examinations for Teachers (LET), a total of 26,812 took the elementary level test while 23,975 took the secondary level exam.

Only one male examinee -- Gian Carlo Auxilian, a graduate of St. $Anthony’s College in Antique—made it to the top 10 in the elementary level.

In the secondary level, 11 of the 25 topnotchers were men, including Benedict Barayuga of Central Luzon University and Gerard Vincent Mendoza of the University of the Philippines-Diliman who tied for first place.

Out of the total 50,787 who took the April LET, 3,458 men passed the test or 25.8 percent of the total passers of 13,384.

More men passed the high school te2,194 or 37.09 percent of the total passers in that level -- compared to the 1,264 or 16.9 percent of total passers in the elementary level.

Professional Regulation Commissioner Nilo L. Rosas believes “male teachers can be as nurturing, caring and competent as their female counterparts.”