SEOUL, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- A South Korean parliamentary education subcommittee has passed a revised public education bill that would allow elementary schools to offer after-school English language classes for first and second graders starting next year, according to South Korean media.
The Act for Normalizing Public Education has been revised to let schools provide English language classes during after-school hours for students in first and second grade, according to Yonhap News.
English is not taught in the regular elementary school curriculum for first- and second-graders. However, South Korean parents have called on the government to make English language classes available.
English language classes are offered from third-graders in elementary school. However, parents of first- and second-graders have demanded that schools should offer English classes or make them available during after-school hours, saying a complete ban on English education could incite expensive private tutoring.
The South Korean government bans English language classes for first and second in elementary schools due to concerns that starting a foreign language at a young age could trigger stress and may hinder Korean language learning.
In 2014, the government passed a law that allowed elementary schools to conduct after-school English classes in first and second grade, according to Donga Ilbo. The classes, however, had been unavailable from Feb. 28 this year as the mandated timeframe expired.