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S. Korea: Anti-corruption Panel, Educators Sign Integrity Education Pact
Source: koreaherald.com
Source Date: Monday, June 21, 2010
Focus: Information Access (and sharing)
Country: Korea (Republic of)
Created: Jun 28, 2010

The Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission, and school associations agreed to cooperate to promote integrity education for young students. ACRC Chairman Lee Jae-oh met Monday with heads of the Korea Kindergarten Association and the Korean Association of Private Secondary School Principals to conclude a memorandum of understanding on integrity education, said officials. The MOU mainly involves the development and effective use of educational data on moral integrity for kindergartens, middle and high school students. Parents and teachers are also to receive organized education on integrity, according to the MOU. The agreement will enable kindergartens, middle and high schools nationwide to establish a network to promote and teach a sense of moral integrity to young students, said officials. The ACRC is to assist school associations by providing basic educational data and holding seminars on the issue on a regular basis. The commission has so far operated 36 model integrity schools and supported regional education offices in promoting the importance of integrity in local schools. Such educational campaigns, upon the MOU, will now be expanded to all member schools of the involved associations, officials said.

The MOU came as part of the ACRC’s long-term project to realize a clean, moral world, according to officials. Last May, in an ACRC survey on 1,328 teenage students, 76.8 percent said that they found the Korean society seriously corrupt. More than 51 percent of the respondents would freely jaywalk if nobody was watching and 40 percent would raise no objection, should they be given extra money back from a cashier. In the survey, 11.8 percent answered that there is no need to abide by the law if they could get away with it. Also, 51.7 percent thought that the corruption would ever increase in years to come, hinting at a general distrust of the younger generation on the government’s anti-corruption campaigns. “Punishment of corrupt acts may be easy but is not the fundamental cure to the rampant corruption in our society,” said ACRC head Lee last November in a lecture for school principals. “Now has come a time when the inner values of a society, such as integrity, are the true power in the international community.” Korea was last year ranked 22nd among 30 OECD states in the integrity category, according to Transparency International, he said.
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