Kathmandu, December 17:

More than 260 private language institutions have applied to impart Korean language training for Nepali job aspirants in South Korea under the employment permit system (EPS).

Following the signing of implementation agreement between Nepal and South Korea on December 11, the EPS unit at the Department of Labour and Employment Promotion (DoLEP) has invited keen private language institutes for enlisting with the department to impart the Korean language.

“We will examine the applications and soon make public the name of institutes, which meet the criteria to impart the Korean language training,” said Keshar Bahadur Baniya, director general at the DoLEP, adding that the names of enlisted institutes will be made public within two to three days.

He also informed that everyone can take part in EPS- Korean Language Test (EPS-KLT), irrespective of language learned at any of language institutes or self- trained. “It is open to learn the Korean language anywhere,” Baniya said.

Besides the private institutes, government has identified over two dozen state-run technical institutes, including training schools under the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEVT), Directorate of Vocational and Skill Development Training, training centres under the ministry of local development, Nepal Administrative Staff College and Campus of International Languages (Bishwa Bhasa Campus), as institutions to impart the Korean language training.

Nepal and South Korea signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on July 23 this year that had opened doors for Nepali workers to work under EPS to Korea. Proficiency of the Korean language has been set as the major condition for eligibility for employment in South Korea.

The recently signed implementation agreement has set up a number of criteria for the institutes that include qualification of language instructors, physical facilities and location, among others. The size of the classroom has also been fixed at 200-sq feet equipped with audio-visual tools as well as at least two teachers appointed for training purpose.

Likewise a shift of a class cannot have more than 40 students. The institutes should also have an adequate stock of books and well-equipped language lab.

Similarly, a language teacher cannot work for more than two training institutes. For a Korean instructor, a diploma in Korean language is required, whereas on Korean language’s certificate level test pass is a must for Nepalis.

The criterion have incorporated requirements for Kathmandu based institutes to set up liaison offices outside the Valley and vice-versa so as to facilitate job seekers from other parts of the country also. The institutes can charge a maximum of Rs 5,000 as training fee per trainee for a semester.

The trainees must take 150 hours — three hours a day for 50 days — class to appear before EPS-KLT. After completing the language training from these institutes, the trainees have to appear in a proficiency test that would be conducted jointly by Korean and Nepali representatives.

The labour agreement has also specified the age of a worker that must be between 18 to 39 years old. It also states that they must not have any record of punishment for criminal acts and must not have faced deportation from South Korea.