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(LEAD) Gov't to beef up education for multicultural students

All News 17:58 March 09, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS PM's quote in 3rd para, photo)

SEOUL, March 9 (Yonhap) -- The government announced a set of educational support measures for children of multicultural families on Wednesday, as part of efforts to help them better adapt to school and eventually better assimilate into mainstream Korean society.

During a meeting presided over by Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, the government decided to expand classes in Korean language and culture and provide vocational training for children from international marriages.

"The government should make various policy efforts so that an increasing number of youths from multicultural families can settle down as members of our society," Hwang said.

The move comes as an increasing number of Korean men are marrying foreign wives and more migrant workers continue to settle here for employment opportunities, which led to a surge in children born from international marriages.

The number of children from multicultural families jumped more than eightfold from some 25,000 in 1996 to 208,000 in 2015, according to government data.

Under the plan, the government will increase the number of so-called "preliminary schools" across the country from the current 30 to 50 by this year, to teach Korean language and culture before the children start regular schooling.

The government will provide various programs for secondary school students who tend to drop out of school due to the language barrier or financial difficulties.

Also, the government will provide vocational training and counseling services to university students from multicultural families who participate in mandatory military service.


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