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Education ministry prohibits parents from recording classes

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By Lee Hae-rin

The education ministry distributed new guidelines to schools and kindergartens across the country, including one banning parents from recording school classes without consent, the ministry said Wednesday.

The guidelines are aimed at better protecting the rights of teachers in the classroom. The new measures were also announced amid a growing social upheaval triggered by the suicides of several teachers in recent months. Many educators, who have taken to the streets following the tragic suicides of colleagues, believe that serious harassment and infringement of teachers' rights by some parents led to their deaths.

According to the ministry's guidelines, parents may not record classes or teacher-student conversations without the teacher's consent. Breaking this regulation is in violation of the Protection of Communications Secrets Act, and violators can be reported to an investigative body.

The guidelines also ban students from using not only smartphones but any other mobile information technology devices, including smart watches, tablet computers and laptops in classrooms.

Education Minister Lee Ju-ho enters a ministerial meeting held at the Government Complex Seoul in central Seoul, Tuesday. Yonhap

Teachers will be able to physically restrain or block the movement of a student in the event that they display problematic behavior that goes against school regulations.

The guideline also says parents should call teachers during their working hours only if they want to discuss matters involving their children, and schools should not reveal teachers' personal phone numbers by connecting incoming calls to office numbers.

"Teachers' educational guidance based on these guidelines are justifiable practices protected by law," Education Minister Lee Ju-ho said. "The ministry will continue to support educators to make sure they can guide their students without fear."

Lee Hae-rin


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