That’s what we were told at the beginning of the semester teacher’s meeting today.

“Do not teach private classes. If you are caught, you will be fine upwards from 4 million won and could even be imprisoned.”

Yikes! That’s a pretty stiff penalty for wanting to make a little cheese on the side.

And just how serious is this crackdown? Well, our academic director was instructed by the vice-president of Woosong to make this clear to teachers, so obviously it’s pretty freakin’ serious. There’s even a former Woosong teacher on the lam because she was caught teaching illegally at a hagwon.

And to sweeten this crackdown, citizens are being offered $500.00 to turn in teachers doing private classes. There are even signs on buses advertising these so-called “bounties” for turning in teachers.

Folks, is this just happening in Daejeon, or is it happening across the nation? This kind of crackdown reminds me of what was happening in Korea back in the spring of 1997 before the economic meltdown. Back then teachers were being rounded up for teaching illegally and there were rumors of “bounties” too but it wasn’t as bad as it seems down here in Daejeon.

Dammit! I should have stayed in Seoul.