Korean teachers rank 4th in respect: study

Korean teachers rank 4th in respect: study
Elementary school students in Korea

Teachers in South Korea came fourth among the OECD member countries in the level of respect they receive, an international study showed Sunday.

Korea came behind China, Greece and Turkey in the level of public respect, and before New Zealand, Singapore and the United States among the 21 countries.

The study, published by Varkey GEMS Foundation, a non-profit global education organization in Dubai, was based on a survey of 1,000 adults in each country.

More than 75 percent of the respondents in China believed that students respected their teachers, compared to an average of 27 percent elsewhere, according to the study.

While Koreans thought highly of teachers in most regards, only 1 in 10 respondents believed that students would actually show their teachers respect in school, the lowest among the 21 nations.

Still, parents in Korea, along with China and Turkey, are most likely to encourage their children to become teachers, whereas parents in Israel, Portugal, Brazil and Japan are least likely to support the profession, the report said.

The study also showed that the average teacher's salary in Korea is $43,874, ahead of Japan and Germany at $43,775 and $42,254, respectively. Teachers' salaries were at their highest in Singapore, with an average of $45,755, followed by the US at $44,917.

Korea, however, was among seven countries including Egypt and Japan that have the least faith in their education system, with a rating below 5 out of 10.

Finland, Switzerland and Singapore had the most faith in their education systems.

University of Sussex professor Peter Dolton, who compiled the results, noted that the public status of teaching will influence standards of education.

"This informs who decides to become a teacher in each country, how they are respected and how they are financially rewarded. Ultimately, this affects the kind of job they do in teaching our children," he added.

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