Last year on November 26, the Daejeon Metropolitan Office of Education announced the Ministry of Education’s decision to grant the status of “specialized high school” (teukmokgo) to Daejeon High School, overcoming one of the major obstacles needed for the creation of an international school. The metropolitan office had initially intended to create an international school for grades 7 to 12. However, due to certain circumstances, such a plan could not be successfully pursued and the Ministry of Education decided to transform the current Daejeon High School into an international one and to create a separately- affiliated middle school in the Yuseong district.
The metropolitan office had initially intended the international school to accommodate between 300 and 480 students each for its middle and high school. However, this range had been subjected to certain fluctuations as there had been concerns regarding South Korea’s current population crisis and a smaller-than-expected school site for the new middle school. Nevertheless, the current plans are to accept between 288 and 375 students and the school is projected to open in March 2019.
There are still two major hurdles left to overcome for the new international school: the upcoming screening process by the Ministry of Education’s Investment Review Committee (IRC) in April and the city council’s approval to transfer the necessary land estate, which is currently still owned by the city. The city council’s approval depends on the sanction of the city councillors but concerns have been raised that there are still too many negative stances towards the establishment of the international school from congressmen and councillors. This is believed to be caused by the misconception that international schools, being schools for the select few, will fuel inequality in the Korean educational system and lead to a reduction of funds for other schools in Daejeon.
However, the international school plans to create special classes exclusively for foreign students to accommodate students who could not attend the current international school in Daejeon due to religious, financial, or other reasons and to help satisfy the needs of the many international and returning Korean researchers from abroad with careful effort and interest.