When the 2009 edition of Education at a glance: OECD Indicators was released, KFTA immediately announced its official comment. It said the education environment in Korea has not improved much from 2008 and urged the government to make significant investment in education.
KFTA also made explanations for some of the controversial indicators.
On education expense/GDP, it said Korea's GDP share of education spending is higher than OECD average but it indicates a high burden of the private sector. It insisted that the share of the private sector should be reduced through government investments in public education.
Regarding teacher remuneration, KFTA said it is not objective to compare teacher salaries based on single PPP (Purchasing Power Parities) criteria since those in advanced countries are determined by various factors including region and the level of teacher qualifications. "We should not ignore the fact that current salary level of an government employee is about 89.7% of that of an employee at a private workplace with more than 100 employees (as of 2007)." It demanded, "The government should disclose actual conditions and provide a clear standard to end controversy over teacher salary that repeats every year with OECD Indicators release."
In addition, KFTA noted that the self-efficacy of Korean teachers was among the lowest while their job satisfaction level is about average. It said strengthened teacher authority, improved public education and the creation of an environment where teachers can commit to their education activities with passion are needed.
"OECD Indicators show us that the education environment in Korea is still underdeveloped," KFTA explained. "President Lee Myeong-Bak pledged to become an ‘Education President’ and to spend 6% of GDP on education. The government should make significant public investments in education."