All elementary schools in Seoul to record calls from parents

Bomi Yoon

Teachers and activists demand legislation guaranteeing teachers’ enhanced rights during a rally in Seoul, Sept. 16. Yonhap

All elementary schools in Seoul will be installed with telephone recorders to record calls from parents, while a chatbot will be introduced across elementary to high schools to deal with parental complaints on behalf of teachers, the Seoul education chief said Tuesday.

The plan, announced by Cho Hee-yeon, superintendent of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, marks the latest in a series of measures aimed at helping block teachers’ direct exposure to abusive complaints from parents in the wake of several distressed teachers’ suicide deaths.

Under the plan, a pilot chatbot service will go into operation in December to deal with simple, repetitive complaints 24/7 from school parents before it will be adopted across all elementary to high schools in the capital in March.

Other parental complaints that require personal attention will be diverted to the education office’s call center or personal chatting service for settlement, while parents with issues specific to their children’s schools will be guided to seek help via the school’s main telephone number, according to the office.

By the end of 2024, all elementary schools in Seoul will also be installed with phone recorders, while parents will be required to get prior approval via a mobile app for meetings with teachers starting in September next year. A video monitoring system will also be installed at schools’ meeting rooms to prevent any occurrence of verbal assaults or violence by parents.

In line with the measures, the Seoul education office also plans to introduce a legal support system, under which a lawyer will be designated to each school to provide legal counseling and advice to teachers legally accused of abusing students. (Yonhap)

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