Recruiter In Korea

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Archive for April 23rd, 2010

Hagwon Owner Withdraws SAT Courses by Star Lecturer

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I read about this story before but I don’t think I posted it.  This is one of those ‘star’ SAT instructors working at a high-paying job at an elite Gangnam hagwon.

By Kang Shin-who
Staff Reporter

A hagwon owner has decided to cancel SAT courses, scheduled from June, by a “star lecturer,” who is currently wanted by police.

Lee Su-jin, owner of the ESC private institute, said she will not run the classes by Jeffery Sohn, 39, who is suspected of obstructing the business of an exam organizer, the Educational Testing Service (ETS), by leaking SAT questions.

“After criticism from the public, I will not work with Jeffery for the time being,” Lee told The Korea Times, Thursday.

She added that many parents wanted Sohn to teach their children and she didn’t know that police had issued an arrest warrant for the lecturer. Police have called Sohn in for questioning, but he has refused to comply and as a result has been banned from leaving the country.

Education Regulations

However, she noted that she would work with Sohn again if the lecturer is found not guilty by the courts.

This part confused/somewhat troubled me:

Officials from the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, which supervises hagwon in the city, say institutes are not allowed to hire a lecturer who has committed a crime.

“Although it is currently morally inappropriate for Jeffery Sohn to teach students, it doesn’t violate education regulations,” said Lee Chul-woong, an official at the education office.

Then again, TIK, guilty until proved otherwise.

Police suspect that Sohn acquired actual SAT questions and offered them to Korean students before they took the test. The popular lecturer set up an online community for those preparing to enter U.S. universities and posted SAT questions after he himself took the tests.

He is famous for picking the right questions for students who subsequently get higher scores on the exam. The lecturer initially started to teach at ESC, specialized in standardized tests required for U.S. universities in Gangnam, but later moved to Recas Academy.

As the lecturer left, ESC filed a lawsuit against the latter institute and recently won their legal battle. While the problematic lecturer was working at Recas Academy, he was kidnapped, taken to a villa in Gyeonggi Province and beaten up by his employer last December after he attempted to leave the academy.

kswho@koreatimes.co.kr
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Written by recruiterinkorea

April 23, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Two Nigerians detained on e-mail fraud charges

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Do people still fall for this shit?  Note to the naive:  if the email sender has a Hotmail or Yahoo email address, they’re probably not diplomats or bankers.  You would think that educated people ‘with a good command’ of English would be a smarter.  Guess not.

It’s an old story: An e-mail from a stranger announces the recipient is a beneficiary of a multimillion-dollar deposit in a foreign bank. All that has to be done to claim the money is paying a customs fee. The offer that sounds too good to be true of course is, but that doesn’t stop the scam from working. What’s rarer is the story where a perpetrator gets caught.

Two Nigerians were arrested and detained on fraud charges yesterday after police said they collected 258 million won ($232,809) from eight Koreans – including a college professor – by claiming to be representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria between January 2009 and last February. Five Nigerian accomplices within the country are still wanted, police said.

“They targeted intellectuals and wealthy people who are well-educated enough to have a good command of English,” said Lee Min-seop, an officer with the foreigner investigation division at Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency. “It’s likely that this type of scam will increase in Korea because of the number of people who speak English and wider use of the Web.”

According to police, in one case the Nigerians, identified as M and D, sent an English-language e-mail to a professor surnamed Jeong, 65, claiming to be bankers holding a $2.5 million inheritance for her in Nigeria. To back it up, they e-mailed fake payment approval documents appearing to be from the Nigerian presidential office and Central Bank. Jeong made several wire transfers to the “bankers,” turning over a total of 40 million won.

With other victims, the Nigerians claimed to be United Nations diplomats or FBI officials, again using doctored documents to bolster their scam. Police said when they succeeded in getting an initial payment, they followed it up with demands for more money by claiming they were having difficulties transferring the funds.

The scheme is often conducted entirely by e-mail or post, and police are still investigating what M and D, who entered Korea claiming to be apparel exporters, were doing here.

“If the money is wired to an overseas account there’s no way police can find it, but here the victims’ money ended up in Korean accounts and that’s why they were caught,” the official said.

By Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]

Written by recruiterinkorea

April 23, 2010 at 11:34 am

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Koreans Swayed by Herd Mentality

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Finally, an accurate article from the Korea Times.  “Jumping the Bandwagon” here is evident everywhere from music, fads, and behaviour in general.  Remember the days of Koreans protesting the sale of American beef?  I highly doubt that the majority were educated on the issues before they wasted hours and days protesting in the streets of Seoul.

“Koreans are susceptible to herd mentality. When their neighbors do or believe something, many of them just follow suit. I regard Internet witch-hunting, real estate speculation or regional dominance of a certain party to stem from such a perspective.”

Another downside is that the mindset may call for mere conformity while intruding upon innovative thinking as amply demonstrated by partisan regionalism. In other words, herd mentality may choke innovation.

Written by recruiterinkorea

April 23, 2010 at 11:26 am

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Ethical Management More Rewarding

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Got one thing to say about this article:  suuurreee buddyy…TIK

By Bae Ji-sook
Staff Reporter

Ethics is back in business, where the general notion of defining right or wrong is seen as the future of capitalism, Georg Kell, executive director of the United Nations Global Compact Office, said Wednesday.

“The so-called global financial crisis has been painful for everyone but has given us momentum to think about where we are and what we have been doing,” Kell said in an interview with The Korea Times, which was held between sessions of the Business for Environment (B4E) Summit in southern Seoul.

“We, especially business leaders, came to admit the vulnerability of the market and the fact that bubbles burst at some point. They have noticed that finance itself cannot create any value and have acknowledged that something sustainable and credible is needed in order to maintain the life that we have had,” he said.

The financial analyst suggested ethical management as their newest focus. “Human rights, the environment, transparency and credibility are rapidly replacing evaluation criteria in looking at a business. They have become the main powerhouse in sustainable development and management for the future alongside good leadership and diligence.”

Kell’s organization has been taking the lead in designing the next step for capitalism.

Established as a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with 10 universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption, the U.N. Global Compact has been eager to promote the virtue of ethical management and corporate social responsibility (CSR).

From working against corruption and bribery to the elimination of forced or compulsory labor, and the encouragement of environmentally-friendly technologies, it looks to get more businesses and local administrations to act more socially responsible without legally forcing them to.

Each year, 7,700 corporate participants and stakeholders ― from over 130 countries ― are asked to turn in a progress evaluation report on the sectors.

While it is not legally required, since many of the participants are world-class enterprises the documents are taken seriously and used as a standard text for next-generation management.

“What we are doing is simple. We select some of the noticeable ones and exhibit their performances throughout the world. It is more of a motivation and incentive system than punishment or criticism,” Kell said.

There will be a leader summit in June in New York to design more guidelines to specify evaluation criteria.

This year, the environment will be the key issue, with participants being asked to take a more environmentally-friendly approach in their business or administration, and to take aggressive measures against climate change including reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Only 10 percent of the global business is on the right side of the agenda so far. Others have been remaining on the fence or actively opposing the idea, concerned about short-sighted fiscal figures,” he said.

“However, I am sure that tightened evaluation on their environmental performance will be rewarded by the public, who are becoming increasingly aware of nature and how the changing climate is affecting our lives.”

Kell admitted that CSR and environmentally-friendly regimes could easily end up as a one-night-stand for a very few early birds because many eco-friendly products are expensive and seem less attractive, allowing only a limited number of people to purchase them.

“But that’s how innovations start,” he said. “I also believe that they could create a whole new market of customers with a different consumption behavior. It will pay off. I believe in the power of persuasion,” he said.

Kell said that he thinks Korea has a high potential to keep up with transparent, responsible and greener management in that sense.

“People are dedicated to a good performance, which drives them through the whole process once they set their minds to one thing. If that is the case for CSR, I am sure they will do their best,” he said. “Also, the information and technology techniques are remarkable. They are a source of productivity and also the key to open access to information. This is a good sign.”

bjs@koreatimes.co.kr

Written by recruiterinkorea

April 23, 2010 at 11:20 am

Posted in Uncategorized