Republic of Korea: Lifelong Education Act 2009, issued in 2009

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Rationale of the law

The purpose of the Lifelong Education Act is to outline the responsibilities of the state and local governments with regard to the promotion of lifelong education as prescribed in the constitution of the Republic of Korea and the Framework Act on Education. The act also describes the lifelong education system and its organization. The state and local governments shall establish and promote a lifelong education policy that provides all citizens with opportunities to participate in lifelong education. In addition, the governments shall actively encourage the founders of organizations and businesses to provide employees with lifelong education opportunities.

Concept of lifelong learning

In the act, the term ‘lifelong education’ is understood as all types of systematic educational activities other than regular school curriculums, including supplementary education, basic adult literacy education, professional training, humanities and liberal education, culture and art education, and civic education.

Main regulations

  • Establishment of a master plan for lifelong education promotion and a yearly implementation plan
  • Establishment of a Lifelong Education Promotion Committee
  • Establishment of a National Institute for Lifelong Education
  • Certification of lifelong learning teachers
  • Lifelong educational institutions
    • Founders of lifelong learning institutions shall contribute to lifelong education for residents of communities
    • Schools may establish and operate lifelong education establishments to offer cultural and vocational education for students, their parents and residents of their communities
    • Founding private lifelong education establishments: operators of educational institutions exceeding a prescribed size may establish and operate private lifelong education establishments providing lifelong education to customers
    • Founding private distance-learning lifelong education establishments: any person may offer lifelong education by providing distance education or providing persons with a variety of information via information and communications media
    • Civic and social organizations may establish and operate a lifelong education establishment for the general public
    • The media may establish and operate lifelong education establishments to enhance culture and upskill people
    • Persons who are engaged in knowledge and human resources development projects may establish and operate a lifelong education establishment
  • Literacy education: enhancement of literacy as a basic skill for adults
  • Management and recognition of lifelong study results: recognition of credits and educational attainment for lifelong education courses under this or other acts

Particular feature of the law

Article 19 of the act defines the establishment of a National Institute for Lifelong Education to promote lifelong education.

Relevant documents that the law refers to:

Further readings and web links:

Issuing Body

Ministry of Education, Science and Technology