Non-Christian native English teachers have been denied employment at public schools in Cheonan since 2008 due to the recruiters’ decision to hire only evangelical Christians for the state-funded jobs.
“KNU is looking for teachers who are evangelical Christians to teach the students with the love of God at various schools in Cheonan City,” reads a recruitment announcement by Korea Nazarene University (KNU).
Moon Kyung-hee, a Cheonan city official, claimed that the city government respects the KNU’s hiring practices as it has given complete authority to the university to recruit native-English teachers for public schools at the Special District of International Education.
“From a supervisor’s point of view, KNU is doing a good job of screening candidates,” Moon told The Korea Observer.
“As KNU belongs to the Protestant denominations, they are against smoking and drinking, and good at screening teachers who may make troubles at school.”
KNU has been the sole contractor to recruit English teachers for public schools in the city’s Special District of International Education over the past six years. Of 83 native English teachers hired this year at public schools in the city, KNU was responsible for recruiting 54.
“Everyone who applies to work as a public school teacher through KNU must submit a resume and a testimony that they are Christian,” a native teacher who had applied for a position said.
“If you don’t say you are a Christian, then they will not hire you.”
An official at the Human Rights Commission of Korea said employment discrimination based on religion is a violation of the human rights law and there is no excuse for KNU to run advertisements that clearly state that only Evangelical Christians are eligible and employees should attend a Nazarene church.
Meanwhile, Sean Jones, who graduated from a Nazarene University in the United States, claimed that he was humiliated by a KNU official during a job interview for a public school job position.
“During the face to face interview, I was asked why black people have bad attitudes, why are they lazy,” he said. “She made the statement that we are not clean and do not try hard enough.”
KNU made the headlines earlier this month for posting a job advertisement with the line “drinking, smoking and homosexuality are not allowed.”
Professor Han Eun-hee, head of KNU’s public school teachers’ recruitment program argued that she is not aware of any discrimination against job seekers as she recently joined the program.
“I was recently assigned to program,” she argued.
“In order to find more qualified teachers, we need to recruit people from a large pool of talented people.”
However, when asked why her name appears on discriminatory advertisements dating back to 2008, she reluctantly acknowledged that she has been involved in the program for the past six years.
Denying any involvement in KNU’s discriminatory practices, she argued that anyone is eligible to apply for public school teaching positions through KNU but it will be up to the selection committee to make hiring decisions.
Park Jong-seung, an inspector at Cheonan Office of Education, said he was surprised to learn about KNU’s discriminatory recruitment advertisements and that his office will consider launching an investigation into the university’s discriminatory practices.
In 2014, 2.1 billion won ($1.9 million) has been allocated to hire teachers through KNU. The university’s English teacher recruitment program is entirely funded by tax payers’ money.
You can read more about KNU’s discriminatory policies from the following article, “A Christian University in Korea Declares ‘No Job for Homosexuals’“
The followings are some of the links related to KNU’s discriminatory recruitment policies on public teaching positions.