Korean – Term 2

Press Release Mon, 4 March 2019

Consulate of the Rebublic of Korea in Auckland

MOU between the NA CAPE and the KEC

  • Co-funding $96,000 to 10 NZ schools for excellent Korean language classes.

  • Various cooperative projects to promote Korean language education expected.

On 28 February 2019, the Korean Education Centre in NZ (Director Ilhyeong Jeong) signed an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with the NA CAPE (North Asia Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence) with a view to promote Korean Language Education in New Zealand primary and secondary schools.

*Number of New Zealand schools running Korean class (2019.2.1) : 40

The ceremony was attended by the director Ilhyeong Jeong from the KEC, the director Paul Clark from the NA CAPE, and other officials from the two organisations.

Through the MOU, both parties agreed to strengthen their cooperation in promoting Korean Language Education in New Zealand primary and secondary schools.

The MOU contains Annual co-funding of $96,000 to 10 mutually selected schools for excellent Korean class*, Cooperation projects including conferences for Korean language learners and teachers and Korean speech contest, Commitment to promoting international exchange of education and cooperation between New Zealand and South Korea.

*Annual Co-funding : KEC in NZ 48,000 NZD + NA CAPE 48,000 NZD

The 10 selected schools are to double their Korean class hours from 120 to 240 a year. Various educational programmes will also be supported.

Director Paul Clark of the NA CAPE stated “The North Asia CAPE is mandated to build New Zealand’s skills in engaging with the countries of East Asia. Language learning is a vital part of getting to know other cultures and societies. We are delighted to help grow the number of Kiwi students studying Korean in our schools.”

Director Ilhyeong Jeong stated “This MOU with the NA CAPE means that we have ensured the sustainability and stability of Korean Language Education in New Zealand and I look forward invigorating New Zealand - Korea educational exchanges and cooperation through the medium of Korean Language Education.”

MOU between the NA CAPE and the KE

Inquiry : KEC in NZ E-Mail : nzkoreanedu@gmail.com / ☎ : 09-303-2625 Address : Level7, 63 Albert St, Auckland

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 Korea trip, travelling with the Korean Education Centre and a group of around 15 teachers/principals


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New Zealand Educational Delegation explores schools in Korea

“Heartbreaking. Visiting the DMZ was an emotive experience which evoked a feeling of despair for the Korean people who are caught up in this ongoing dilemma. Standing on the observation deck viewing the two flags of North and South Korea was a surreal experience. Crawling through the 'secret' underground tunnel and reaching the proximity of the North/South Korean boarder too was so very interesting. I guess from my perspective, perhaps the most saddening moment was seeing the beautiful bright ribbons adorned with messages from family divided by their battle for freedom. As we boarded our tour bus and drove away to our very own freedom, the idea for reunification between North and South gives a sense of hope for a future Korea to become 'one' again.”

Cherie Horne, Deputy Principal, Pillans Point School

Culture – Hanbok experience

 “We were so fortunate that it was kindly arranged for us to have the opportunity to wear the South Korean 'Hanbok' National dress.  If worn to the Palaces your admission is waived.  Many locals and tourists do this.  For ladies, this consisted of a voluminous bright coloured skirt sometimes with embellishments and a jacket. We all felt special and proceeded to take many photos, and funnily enough, even got photobombed by a local tourist who joined in!  Our symbolic gesture was to use our thumb and forefinger to show a small heart - used in many photos, and to smile saying 'kimchi' (the fermented food popular at each meal).  This experience and these gestures have a special place in our memories of a wonderful time shown to us in South Korea.  Gam sa ham ni da!”

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Paula Kasper, Director of Languages and Culture, Hereworth School

The schools that we visited during our trip were located in densely populated city areas. Yongsu Elementary has around 900 students and Sanui Elementary was a huge 1900 student complex. As more and more families move from rural locations and into the large cities, schools such as Yongsu and Sanui face the challenge of continually growing rolls. Nevertheless, children really are the same the world over and we were greeted by enthusiastic, outgoing and engaging young learners. Not only were we treated to performances by a choir and an orchestra, there were also solo performances by staff members. Classrooms were lively environments and we spent time observing children learning Science, English, PE and much more. The warmth of hospitality and attention to detail was truly humbling and our hosts were undeniably proud of their schools.



Sue Smith, Principal, Upper Harbour Primary School

When you think of Korean Education, I suspect, like me, you think of an intensely academic and competitive system. I could not have been more wrong. Over the last few years Korea has had a huge paradigm shift to Student-Centred Education. This is in response to data showing that Korea was near the top of the OECD rankings but had very low levels of student satisfaction in learning. There has been a move away from memorising information to learning to think creatively. Policies include Happy Learning, nurturing creativity and emotion, School Democracy, full participation for all students including those with special needs, Safe Schools and Educational Administration Innovation with a focus on democratic collaboration among students, teachers, parents and links with local communities. Sound familiar? It was very clear, and reinforced by our visits to the schools, that Korean Education is heading down the same pathway as we are in NZ. We may be at different points but we’re going in the same direction.


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Karen Cebalo – ESOL and Programme Co-ordinator, Browns Bay School