Four out of 100 Seoul citizens are foreign residents. The Visiting Educator Program for Multicultural and Foreign Families is a private-public program sponsored by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and Daekyo Co. The program began with 200 children in 2011, and the number has increased over the past four years to give an accumulated total of 2,345 in 2014.
– 200 (2011) → 410 (2012) → 735 (2013) → 1,000 (2014)
The number of children of multicultural families residing in Korea has increased dramatically (over five-fold) in the past eight years, from 5,035 in 2007 to 30,226 in 2014. This is in contrast with the reduced number of new married migrants due to a strengthening of the regulations for international marriages and a revision of the immigration control law.
With this increase, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has redirected the support program for multicultural families, from “helping married migrants adapt to a new life” to “supporting the growth of the children of the migrants,” strengthening the educational support for the children of multicultural families.
The “Visiting Education Program”, which is part of the support program for the children of migrants is considered an excellent policy and has been benchmarked by other regional governments. Through the “Visiting Educator Program”, visiting educators stop by the homes of multicultural or foreign resident families once a week, over a ten month period, to offer one-on-one tutoring for children between the ages of 2 to 12. Foreign resident families have to pay a fee of KRW 5,000 every month. According to a survey on the satisfactory level of the program, 98 percent answered “Very Satisfied” and “Satisfied,” while 2 percent answered “Okay.”
Most married migrants experience difficulties where their children’s education is concerned due to a lack of fluency in Korea. They are unable to help their children with homework or check announcements from school. In addition, unlike a dispensation or a one-time project, the support for the children of married migrants will be help to strengthen the social and economic independence of multicultural families over the long-term.
Meanwhile, most children from multicultural families are too young to attend school. However, as the number of school-aged children and adolescents is growing, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has begun an educational guidance project to respond preemptively to the demand for new policies.
One-on-one college admission counseling and orientation for college admission for children of multicultural families will provide customized information for bilinguals to ensure that they receive a proper education.