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Do Teachers Hit Students in Korea?

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Last updated:

Now corporal punishment goes against all students’ human rights. Teachers are no longer allow to use physical punishment or verbally harass a student. Any teacher who hits a student in their classroom could lose their job.

For many decades, teachers in South Korea were allowed to hit a student who was misbehaving in class. This was considered corporal punishment, and for many years it was acceptable in Korean schools.

Many parents had a problem with the strict discipline methods teachers were using, especially with teachers who were going too far.

The ban on corporal punishment was put in place to prevent authority figures from abusing the students.

Every student in Korea has the right to feel safe in the classroom when they are receiving their education. When students misbehave in class, the teacher will now have to use an alternate form of discipline that doesn’t involve physical punishment.

Let’s take a look at how teachers are handling discipline now that corporal punishment is banned.

Are Teachers Respected in Korea?

Teachers are very well respected in Korea, they even ranked 4th on the list of professions in Korea that are most respected. It’s not just the parents who respect these education providers. Students in Korean schools highly respect their teachers as well, which is one of the reasons why corporal punishment is not necessary.

Kids will always be kids, and there will be times when even good students misbehave. This is especially true in middle school when kids are surrounded by all of their friends at school.

While students may be distracting by all of their peers at school, this doesn’t take away from the respect they have for their teachers.

Since Korean students highly respect their teachers, there is no need for physical punishment to get them to behave. Teachers that use alternate discipline methods are seen are more respected than those who used corporal punishment.

What punishment methods do the most respected Korean teachers use? Let’s take a look:

Extra physical exercise

Many teachers believe in making a misbehaving student do some form of exercise as punishment for misbehaving in class. A teacher could make a student run a few laps, do jumping jacks, or even stand at the back of the room for the rest of the lesson.

This is a much better option than slapping a student, but some parents feel that it goes against the children’s human rights.

A lot of people believe that anything physical is a form of corporal punishment. They would prefer the education system use more effective punishment methods in the schools.

Writing lines

Writing lines is an age old discipline method used when students misbehave in the middle of class. This punishment doesn’t interfere with their human rights but still teaches them a lesson.

The teacher could even make the students write lines about what they did that got them in trouble in the first place.

Open communication

Making the time to speak with the students about their behavior is a lot more effective than corporal punishment. This gives the teacher an opportunity to explain why the behavior is not acceptable and it gives the students a chance to learn from their behavior and be better in the future.

Self reflection can be a great way for South Korean students to reflect on why their behavior at school wasn’t appropriate and find better ways to express themselves.

Does the ban on corporal punishment make teachers less respected?

Many teachers are worried that the ban on physical punishment in the school system will lead to more disobedient students.

When teachers in the schools were allowed to strike a misbehaving kid, it was always in the back of the student’s mind and they would continue to behave. Many teachers believed that a strict punishment helped push the students to succeed.

Now that the ban is in effect, students feel like they can get away with more unacceptable behavior. A lot of teachers feel like the respect is no longer there because the students aren’t afraid of punishment. Many students are seeing how far they can push their teachers, which is also affecting their education.

However, this isn’t the case for every teacher in Korea. Many teachers are using alternative methods for discipline and their students are showing them more respect for it..

How Much Do Korean Teachers Get Paid?

Korean money is called won. The average teacher will earn roughly 1.5 to 3.5 million won each month. Compared to US dollars, this works out to be roughly $1300 to $3100 each month.

Teachers that are employed at universities and private academies will earn a higher wage than public school teachers.

People from international countries can also make money teaching in South Korea. Education is very serious in Korea, so they want the best for their students. There are many opportunities for North Americans to apply for a position teaching English to Korean students at the schools.

These English teachers will have the opportunity to earn the same wages as public school teachers in Korean schools. Since living expenses are relatively low in Korea, many Americans have saved money teaching English in Korean schools.

Do Korean Teachers Get Pension?

There are four pension schemes in Korea, and one of them is the Teacher’s pension scheme. This ensures that all Korean teachers are entitled to various benefits for the job that they do. The teacher’s pension has been in existence in Korea since 1975, and all Korean teachers are legally required to join.

This pension provides all teachers with an annuity in case anything were to happen that affects their ability to continue their job at the schools. This pension ensures that teachers receive benefits upon retirement, disability leave, or any other reason they are unable to continue their job.

If a teacher were to pass away, it would also ensure that their family would receive an annuity to maintain their lifestyle.

Do Foreign Teachers Get Korean Pension?

Foreign teachers who travel to Korea to teach English are not entitled to the Korean pension. This is because the pension act does not have agreements with other countries. Most people who visit Korea is to teach English are only doing it for a limited time. They are often on contract for 1 year and then will return to their home country.

This means that they will not qualify for the pension. The pension is for full-time teachers who are looking for a long term pension contract.


Corporal punishment is now banned and no longer allowed in Korean schools. When students misbehave, teachers will need to used punishment methods that don’t interfere with their rights.

If a teacher were to hit one of their students, they could lose their positions in the school system. The ban on corporal punishment allows students to sell safer at school.

Teachers are highly respected in Korea. Since they receive higher pay, they are required to take every student’s education seriously. Part of their job requires them to be very dedicated to the wellbeing of each student in their classroom.

These teachers are expected to use respected discipline and never resort to corporal punishment when they have a difficult student.

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    About The Author

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    Jason Park

    Jason has been living in Seoul for over 4 years, and during that time, he has experienced many of the city's hidden stores. He loves to write about his experiences and share them with others. Jason has been quoted and referenced by different major media companies like Mashed, Distractify, ThePrint and TastingTable. In his free time, he likes to watch Korean dramas and learn more about Korean culture.

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