Some parents are still condoning "hagwon," or private academies, beating their children to achieve better grades, according to Korea's private education industry.
The use of force has been banned in schools in Korea since the student human rights ordinance was enacted in 2010. But at hagwon, beatings are still performed with parents' consent as they expect their children's grades to improve. Some academies are even known to hand out forms that ask for parents' permission.
A hagwon English teacher, 26, says he is concerned about punishing students with force.
"We don't even hand out forms asking parents if it's OK to beat their children," he told The Korea Times, wishing to remain anonymous. "They just call me and demand that I hit their children if they don't do their homework or their grades drop."
He said some parents strongly insist that teachers use force on their children.
"If we don't strictly control our students, in some cases using beatings, parents think of our academy as loose and switch to a different academy," the teacher said.
He said he left the academy after the director insisted he be stricter on students.
Hagwon operators say punishing students is difficult to ignore, especially when parents demand it because they pay for their children's tuition.
Korean laws prohibit hagwon from using physical or mental punishment that could harm students' health or welfare or hinder their improvement. Any hagwon breaking the law is subject to registration cancelation and suspended from teaching.