This is the place where I used to stand in line early in the morning to apply… Why is Korea’s first ‘Buddhist kindergarten’ closed?

1923 Munyeon Buddhist KindergartenGangneung Gwaneumsa Geumcheon Kindergarten, the first Buddhist kindergarten in Korea with a 100-year history, eventually closed. On the 25th, Woljeongsa Gangneung Catholic Church Gwaneumsa submitted an ‘Application for Geumcheon Kindergarten Closure Approval’ to the Gangneung Office of Education in Gangwon-do and returned the seal.

Gwaneumsa Temple explained, “We have been considering various options for a long time, including relocation, to continue operating Geumcheon Kindergarten, but we have not been able to find an answer. We tried to operate it at a loss in order to survive 100 years, but in the end, we ended up going through the process of closing it after it was closed last year.” .

The establishment of Geumcheon Kindergarten dates back to May 1923, during the Japanese colonial period. At that time, the ‘Education Salvation Movement’ arose to restore national sovereignty through education, and as the need for missionary work was added, Buddhist kindergartens were born. After Odaesan Mountain Woljeongsa Temple and Geumgangsan Yujeomsa Temple and Geonbongsa Temple agreed to jointly establish a kindergarten, it opened in conjunction with Gangneungpo Church on July 29 of that year. Geumcheon (錦天) means ‘sky embroidered with silk’. In the first year of establishment, there were about 60 new students.

Geumcheon Kindergarten experienced many difficulties, including being closed during the Korean War, but gained great popularity from the late 1990s to early 2000s by promoting sound character education. On the day of application submission, there was a long line from early in the morning. At one point, the number of children in kindergarten exceeded 120. There are about 4,000 graduates of Geumcheon Kindergarten. Former Deputy Prime Minister Cho Soon is also from here

As the city develops, the number of natives decreases sharply.However, the reputation of Geumcheon Kindergarten began to fade due to urban expansion. As residential complexes such as apartments were built, daycare centers were opened one by one. There is a central market near Geumcheon Kindergarten. Transportation and accessibility were relatively poor. Before we knew it, the number of native students had drastically decreased. Low birth rate also had an impact. In 2021, just before the closure, there were 12 students. At that time, no children registered during the recruitment period for new children.

It is said that Gwaneumsa Temple had a difficult time running토스카지노 도메인 the kindergarten, taking on a deficit of tens of millions of won for several years before it was closed in order to survive for at least 100 years. Even though the number of students decreases, fixed expenses such as labor costs for teachers, cooks, and bus drivers do not decrease. It is said that the money spent in the three years before the closure exceeded 100 million won.

The greatest impact of population decline in the old city centerIn order to protect Geumcheon Kindergarten, Gwaneumsa Temple also reviewed several times a plan to relocate it to the vicinity of a residential complex. However, it failed due to problems with land purchase and construction costs. Bae Heon-yeong, head of Gwaneumsa Temple, said, “We can’t go into the mountains, so we have to move to a residential complex with a lot of children and reopen it, but we needed

3 to 4 billion won just to buy the land and build the building. ” “Most of the private kindergartens in are worried about closing,” he explained.

Meanwhile, the population of Jungang-dong, Gangneung, where Geumcheon Kindergarten is located, is rapidly decreasing every year. According to the Ministry of Public Administration and Security’s resident registration status, the population of Jungang-dong as of last June was 4,593, a decrease of 1,608 from 6,201 in 2013. Also, in 2013, there were 146 children aged 5 to 9 who were eligible to attend kindergarten. However, as of last June, there were only 63 people.







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