The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education announced Monday it will give out emergency relief funds to young foreign nationals in the city to alleviate the economic burden of the new coronavirus.
The new measure, with a budget of around 1.74 billion won ($1.51 million), will cover some 5,100 elementary and middle school students, born between 2005 and 2013, and some 4,240 of those in the same age bracket but attend alternative or foreign schools.
The decision came after a controversy erupted over discrimination as the central government distributed relief money only to young South Korean nationals.
In recent weeks, the government paid out 200,000 won per child under 12 years old and 150,000 won per middle school student. The relief money was aimed at compensating increased household spending on child care and prolonged online classes, as kindergartens and schools were closed due to tightened social distancing measures that were imposed to contain COVID-19.
According to the city education officials, foreign students enrolled in regular schools here will be able to receive the emergency handouts by Oct. 23. The rest are required to apply for the money from Oct. 19-23 and will receive it on Oct. 30 upon review by the office.
The money will arrive automatically via each student's bank account registered with schools or personal cash accounts, while those who are not attending regular schools need to register one to get the money.
The office said it plans to widely promote the measure to schools, institutes and public facilities caring for foreign students and have bilingual teachers help those eligible for the application, if necessary. (Yonhap)