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CHARACTER EDUCATION PROMOTION ACT

Act No. 13004, Jan. 20, 2015

Amended by Act No. 14396, Dec. 20, 2016

Act No. 15233, Dec. 19, 2017

 Article 1 (purpose)
The purpose of this Act is to contribute to the development of the State and society, by ensuring the dignity and value of human beings in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Korea and by fostering citizens to have stable and good characters, on the basis of educational philosophy pursuant to the Framework Act on Education.
 Article 2 (Definitions)
The definitions of terms used in this Act are as follows: <Amended by Act No. 15233, Dec. 19, 2017>
1. The term "character education" means an approach to education, the purpose of which is to educate students for developing a well-balanced and good inner state therein and to nurture the personalities and competencies of human beings, needed for harmoniously living together with other people, in communities, and with nature;
2. The term "core values and virtues" means a mental state involving courtesy, filial piety, honesty, responsibility, respect, consideration, communication, cooperation, etc.; or core values or virtues related to the humanity of human beings, which are aimed to be achieved through the character education;
3. The term "core competencies" means the capabilities integrated with knowledge needed for positively and actively practicing or using the core values and virtues, and communicative ability based on sympathy or interaction, or conflict resolution ability;
4. The term "school" means any of the following institutions:
(a) Kindergartens defined in subparagraph 2 of Article 2 of the Early Childhood Education Act;
 Article 3 (Relationship to Other Acts)
Except as otherwise expressly provided for in other Acts, this Act shall apply to character education.
 Article 4 (Duties of State, etc.)
(1) The State and each local government shall formulate and implement long-term and systemic policies on character education to foster citizens to build good characters.
(2) The State and each local government shall formulate policy measures necessary to promote character education appropriate for the developmental stages of students, and situations and circumstances of schools units.
(3) The State and each local government shall conduct school-based character education activities and endeavor to establish organic networks between homes and local communities to create a friendly environment for the character education.
(4) The State and each local government shall endeavor to publicize the necessity of pan-national participation to promote character education in schools.
(5) Citizens shall actively cooperate in character education policies the State and each local government promote.
 Article 5 (Basic Direction-Setting for Character Education)
(1) Character education shall be promoted at home, in schools, and in society.
(2) Character education shall be planned and provided with a long term perspective, with the consideration of the holistic development of human beings.
(3) The character education shall be provided nationwide with joint participation of schools, homes, and local communities.
 Article 6 (Establishment, etc. of Comprehensive Plans for Character Education)
(1) The Minister of Education shall every five years formulate a comprehensive plan for character education (hereinafter referred to as "comprehensive plan") in consultation with the heads of the relevant central administrative agencies prescribed by Presidential Decree, and after undergoing deliberation by the Character Education Promotion Committee under Article 9.
(2) A comprehensive plan shall include the following:
1. Objectives of and plans for promoting character education;
2. Publicity of character education;
3. Funding plans for character education and management of the funds;
4. Matters concerning selection of core values and virtues, and core competencies, in character education;
5. Other matters necessary for character education prescribed by Presidential Decree.
(3) Where the Minister of Education modifies important matters of a comprehensive plan, he/she shall undergo consultation with the heads of the relevant central administrative agencies referred under paragraph (1) and deliberation by the Character Education Promotion Committee established under Article 9: Provided, That the foregoing shall not apply where he/she modifies minor matters, such as amendments to statutes or changes in plans for relevant projects of relevant administrative agencies.
(4) Where the Minister of Education establishes or modifies a comprehensive plan as provided for in paragraph (1) or (3), he/she shall notify the heads of the relevant central administrative agencies thereof without delay.
(5) The superintendent of education of a Special Metropolitan City, Metropolitan City, Metropolitan Autonomous City, Do, or Special Self-Governing Province (hereinafter referred to as "superintendent of education") shall formulate and implement an annual implementation plan for character education for a relevant local government according to a comprehensive plan (hereinafter referred to as an "implementation plan").
(6) When the superintendent of education implements an implementation plan as provided for in paragraph (1) or amends the implementation plan, he/she shall notify the Minister of Education thereof without delay.
(7) Matters necessary for formulation, implementation, etc., of comprehensive plans and implementation plans shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 7 (Cooperation in Formulation, etc., of Plans)
(1) The Minister of Education and the superintendents of education may request the heads of the relevant central administrative agencies, the heads of local governments, other superintendents of education, etc., to cooperate therewith, if necessary for formulation, implementation, evaluation, etc., of comprehensive plans or implementation plans.
(2) Any person requested to cooperate under paragraph (1) shall comply therewith in the absence of special circumstances.
 Article 8 (Holding Hearings)
(1) Where the Minister of Education and the superintendent of education intends to formulate a comprehensive plan and its implementation plans, they shall hold a hearing and listen to the opinions of citizens, relevant experts, etc.; and when the opinions presented at such hearing are recognized appropriate, they shall reflect such opinions in formulating the comprehensive plan and its implementation plans.
(2) Matters necessary for holding public hearings under paragraph (1) shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 9 (Character Education Promotion Committee)
(1) The Character Education Promotion Committee (hereinafter referred to as "the Committee") shall be established under the Minister of Education for deliberation on the following matters concerning character education:
1. Matters concerning objectives of and direction-setting for the promotion of character education policies;
2. Matters concerning formulation of comprehensive plans;
3. Matters concerning examination and evaluation of the outcomes of character education;
4. Matters concerning cooperation and coordination in support for character education;
5. Other matters prescribed by Presidential Decree concerning support for character education.
(2) The Committee shall be comprised of up to twenty members, including a chairperson.
(3) The Chairperson of the Committee shall be elected by and from its members, and shall not be a public official.
(4) The members of the Committee shall be appointed or commissioned by the Minister of Education, from among any of the following persons as prescribed by Presidential Decree. In such cases, the number of those who are not public officials shall constitute a majority of its members:
1. The Vice Minister of Education, Vice Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism (a Vice Minister who is designated by the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism), Vice Minister of Health and Welfare, and Vice Minister of Gender Equality and Family;
2. Three persons recommended by the Speaker of the National Assembly;
3. Persons designated by Presidential Decree from among those who have extensive knowledge of and experience in character education.
(5) Necessary matters concerning organizations, human resources, business affairs, etc., related to promoting character education to execute matters deliberated by the Committee shall be determined by Ordinance of the Ministry of Education.
(6) Other matters necessary for organization and operation of the Committee shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 10 (Standards for and Operation of Character Education of Schools)
(1) The Minister of Education shall formulate a plan for character education of and standards for the achievement thereof for schools as prescribed by Presidential Decree.
(2) The head of a school shall annually formulate a plan for the character education as prescribed by Presidential Decree in consideration of the objectives of character education and standards for the achievement thereof as provided for in paragraph (1), the ages of persons subject education, and other relevant matters, and shall provide the education.
(3) The head of a school shall organize and operate curricula that cultivate students’ core character competencies, focusing on core values and virtues in character education.
(4) The head of each school shall formulate a plan to connect the school, homes, and the local community for promoting character education.
 Article 11 (Support, etc., for Character Education)
(1) The State and each local government shall develop and distribute education programs to support character education at home, in schools, and local communities (hereinafter referred to as “character education programs”).
(2) The State and each local government may entrust the organization, operation, etc., of character education programs, etc. to specialized organizations or experts.
(3) The Minister of Education and the superintendents of education shall ensure that parents of students are informed of plans for organization and operation of character education programs, by posting such information on the Internet websites of relevant schools or by similar means. <Amended by Act No. 15233, Dec. 19, 2017>
(4) Parents of students shall cooperate with the State, local governments, and schools in implementing policy measures for character education promotion and may suggest matters concerning character education to the heads of the relevant agencies.
(5) Other matters necessary for promoting character education at home, in schools, and in local communities shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 12 (Certification of Character Education Programs)
(1) The Minister of Education may certify a character education program or character education course (hereinafter referred to as “certification”) for a person who intends to develop and distribute the character education program or to open and operate the character education course (hereinafter referred to as a “character education program developer of such other person”).
(2) A character education program developer or such other person who intends to obtain certification shall file an application therefor with the Minister of Education.
(3) Where any character education program or character education course for which an application for certification has been filed under paragraph (2), meets certification standards prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Education, including educational content, education hours, educational subjects, and educational facilities, the Minister of Education may certify such program or course.
(4) A person who has obtained certification under paragraph (3) may use a certification mark as prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Education in relation to the relevant character education program or character education course.
(5) No certification mark referred to in paragraph (4) or similar may be used for character education program or character education course which fails to obtain certification as required under paragraph (3).
(6) Necessary matters concerning procedures, methods, etc., for certification under paragraphs (1) through (3) shall be determined by Ordinance of the Ministry of Education.
(7) The Minister of Education may entrust certification affairs provided for in paragraphs (1) through (3) to specialized institutions, organizations, etc. prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Education.
 Article 13 (Period of Validity of Certification)
(1) The period of validity of certification under Article 12 (3) shall be three years from the date the certification is obtained.
(2) The period of validity provided for in paragraph (1) may be extended only once by up to two years.
(3) The application for extension of certification provided in paragraph (2) and other necessary matters shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Education.
 Article 14 (Revocation of Certification)
Where a character education program or character education course certified under Article 12 (3) falls under any of the following, the Minister of Education may revoke the relevant certification: Provided, That in cases falling under subparagraph 1, he/she shall revoke such certification:
1. If it is certified by fraud or other improper means;
2. If it fails to meet the certification standards referred to in Article 12 (3).
 Article 15 (Budgetary Support for Character Education)
The State and each local government shall subsidize expenses incurred for the promotion of character education, including support for character education, and development and distribution of character education programs.
 Article 16 (Evaluation, etc., of Character Education)
(1) The Minister of Education and each superintendent of education shall annually evaluate the outcomes of promoting the character education and the activities involved in the character education, performed in accordance with a relevant comprehensive plan and its implementation plan.
(2) The Minister of Education and each superintendent of education may reflect the results of evaluation pursuant to paragraph (1) in a comprehensive plan and its implementation plans. <Amended by Act No. 14396, Dec. 20, 2016>
(3) Other matters necessary for evaluation of the outcomes of promoting character education and the activities involved in character education shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 17 (Training for Teachers and Relevant Matters)
(1) The Minister of Education and the superintendents of education shall ensure that teachers of schools (hereinafter referred to as “teachers”) complete training courses related to character education for at least a specified number of hours prescribed by Presidential Decree. <Amended by Act No. 15233, Dec. 19, 2017>
(2) Teacher training institutions determined by Ordinance of the Ministry of Education, which include colleges of education, teachers’ colleges (including the departments of education and courses in teacher education) under Article 41 of the Higher Education Act or institutions equivalent thereto shall mandatorily offer and teach subjects relevant to strengthening preliminary teachers’ competencies in providing character education.
 Article 18 (Encouragement by Schools of Participation in Character Education)
The heads of schools shall endeavor to encourage students to participate in character education provided by local communities, etc. in accordance with Article 11 (1), and to guide and manage such matters.
 Article 19 (Support Provided by Press for Character Education)
The State and each local government shall endeavor to conduct campaigns to increase recognition on the importance of character education at a pan-national level and to encourage the participation of citizens, if necessary, using the press media (including broadcasting; newspapers; periodicals including magazines; news communications; online newspapers, etc., defined in Article 2 of the Act on Press Arbitration and Remedies, etc. for Damage Caused by Press Reports).
 Article 20 (Fostering of Specialists)
(1) The State and each local government shall foster specialists in fields necessary for expansion of character education.
(2) The Minister of Education and the superintendent of education may designate an institution, organization, etc., related to education as a character education specialist training institution, to foster specialists pursuant to paragraph (1), and fully or partially subsidize expenses for the character education specialist training institution.
(3) Standards for designating character education specialist training institutions pursuant to paragraph (2) shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 21 (Delegation of Authority)
The Minister of Education may partially delegate any authority vested under this Act, to the superintendents of education as prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 22 (Administrative Fines)
(1) Any of the following persons shall be punished by an administrative fine not exceeding five hundred won:
1. A person who has obtained certification under Article 12, by fraud or other improper means;
2. A person who has used a certification mark, in violation of Article 12 (5).
(2) Administrative fines provided for in paragraph (1) shall be imposed and collected by the Minister of Education as prescribed by Presidential Decree.
ADDENDUM
This Act shall enter into force six months after the date of its promulgation.
ADDENDUM <Act No. 14396, Dec. 20, 2016>
This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.
ADDENDUM <Act No. 15233, Dec. 19, 2017>
This Act shall enter into force six months after the date of its promulgation.