I just wanted to add my two cents here on my blog in response to Brian's posts.
I too agree that public school work is still better than hagwon work. Yes they screwed up this time. But those who did get through and work at the school's will still have more job security than at a hagwon.
I too work with GEPIK and am now working on finding a new school within the system. I think if you go the route of not putting yourself on the lottery system, which is SMOE and look for a school yourself then you have a better shot of getting off on the right foot.
In my opinion I don't think SMOE will make this mistake again. I think they have learned from this. Also I believe they are probably working on rearranging and reforming the program to fit the flux of new candidates due to the high unemployment rate in America.
I would advise those who plan on going with SMOE for the Spring term to have a 2nd or 3rd option on the table and work with recruiters who speak honestly with you. Talk to them about this situation and what their plan would be if it were to take place again.
And if you do get screwed and were planning on coming out here anyways..you could come on a tourist visa and find a job here in person. You could live up to 90 days on a tourist visa.
All in all, any person thinking of coming to Korea should realize and accept the fact the workforce functions differently out here and unexpected things happen all the time. And most of it doesn't make sense and most of it doesn't reflect what is written in a contract.