The government's plan to lower school entry age by one year to tackle the falling birth rate has met growing resistance from the education sector.
When Presidential council for Future and Vision announced the plan on Nov 25, KFTA immediately made its public statement. "Reducing school entrance age should be carefully approached since it involves diverse educational considerations such as student development, reorganization of curriculum and supply/demand of education facilities and teachers."
Particularly pointing out the fact that more than 40,000 out of all school age children are delaying school entrance because of their underdevelopment, KFTA suggested an alternative solution. "To help the falling birth rate and reduce public burden of private education expenses, it would be better to covert kindergartens into early child schools and gradually introduce compulsory education for 3-5 years olds rather than lowering school entry age."
Meanwhile, the Korea Association of Early Childhood Education also made its official comment the same day. "It is a too simplistic approach from a very fragmented viewpoint of reducing early childhood education costs. It has no consideration for child development or early child education reality." It urged the government "to withdraw its simplistic plan to lower the age for school entrance."
In response, MEST decided to organize a task force for comprehensive review of the plan.