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Jeon Gyojo

About
Jeon Gyojo

Building Education Communities of Hope

history

A brief history of JeonGyoJo,
the Korean Teachers and Education Workers' Union

history image

under the military dictatorships, 1961 to 1989 Teachers in Korea first organized in 1960 with the establishment of the 4.19 Teachers Union. This movement ended with the coup of May 16, 1961. Schools became centres of propaganda under the military regimes, where the government required educators to enforce its ideologies. Teachers were not permitted to speak about these regimes, and most teachers complied with the governments' dictates. But the "Great Workers' Struggle" of 1987 affected many teachers. We formed a union to protect the voices of teachers as they began to educate according to conscience. The union was our hope and strength. KTU aimed to succeed the 4.19 Teachers' Union, and to continue the independent teachers' movement that began in the 1980s. The May 10 Declaration of Educational Democratization in 1986 and the June Uprising in 1987 led to the establishment of the National Association of Teachers, which became the basis for a nationwide independent teachers' organization. breaking the silence - the birth of the KTU and oppression by the dictators On May 28th 1989, teachers gathered at Yon-sei University to launch the first nationwide teachers' union, JeonGyoJo. The first president of the KTU, the late Yoon Young-gyu, declared the historic establishment of the KTU and read the Founding Manifesto. The government quickly moved against KTU members. Hundreds of members were arrested or imprisoned by the regime, and more than 1,500 were dismissed. There was no precedent for such repression of a labour union in Korea. the KTU today In 1999, after 10 years of struggle, the KTU was recognized. This victory was the result of the work of JeonGyoJo's grassroots members, who had the support of the entire democratic community in Korea. The KTU then represented 15,000 education workers. We have since grown into an organization of more than 70,000 members, 20% of all teachers in South Korea. The KTU became a member of Education International in 1993, and we continue to work with education and labour organizations throughout the world.