Increasing Pressure for Today’s South Korean Students
Career Path : Education News
Since the country radically revolutionized their economy, education system and government in the 1950s and 60s, South Korea has progressed to become a developed country, with one of the highest GDPs in all of Asia. More than anything, South Koreans view education as the doorway to success. The education system in South Korea is therefore extremely strict, and based on a series of standardized tests which are designed to pave the way for high-achieving students to attend university.
Competition and studying are therefore two very important components of education, and the general belief is that hard work (not “giftedness”, or luck) will lead to success. That being said, there is a huge amount of pressure on the students—no matter what the age—to follow through with this hard work. For young South Koreans, this means studying for 15 hours a week, compared to the 9 hours of time given by Australian students. While this studying certainly pays off, there is a consequence.
The 2014 Youth Happiness Index found that only 67.6% of South Korean students were happy, while the OECD average is 85.8%. South Korea also has an extremely high youth suicide rate compared to other countries.
Do you think the South Korean education model is working? In what ways? How can it be changed to improve youth quality of life?