Korean Education: A Student’s Perspective

My (unofficial) gifted class likes to be challenged. So I have them write an essay each month about a ‘hot’ topic. I let them decide topics usually just to see what they’re interested in writing about. They have written about their opinion on a reunification of North and South Koreas, the anti-gay propaganda in Russia, and this last month, they wrote about Korean Education from their perspective. One of my students wrote an unbelievable essay. I went through it and only changed a few grammatical errors (punctuation mostly), but no content of the article has been compromised. And for the sake that he is still a minor (and I dont know the law on naming students publicly in Korea) only the first initial of his English name is being used.


Korean Education Must be Changed


          Nowadays, Korean students are spending a lot of time studying. This may help the improvement of students’ grades, but it doesn’t allow much time for other activities. Also, compared to other countries such as Finland and U.S.A, we have lower student achievements despite the amount of time we spend studying. For this, I think Korean education should be changed. I have two reasons to support my opinion.

First of all, our education is not supportive of the students who are really intelligent and need advanced education. For example, I heard from my mother that she knows a girl who is a genius. All of the people who meet her and talk to her agree that she will go to a better high school and university for higher education. But her family is poor and there is no economic support for her. This makes it impossible for her to get an advanced education, which will allow her to go to a formal high school. On the contrary, my friend’s cousin lives in America. His report card were always straight A’s, so the government supported him with a higher education (gifted) program which led him to become a college student in one of the Ivy League schools. When I compare these two students’ lives, I realize that our education program is not helpful for those who can really help our nation develop in the future.

In addition, our studying methods are too inefficient. In most of the schools in Korea, there are no discussions about what we learn and no other activities to improve our understandings. Teachers just read textbooks and dictate them to students. Although many educators say that this kind of method is wrong and must be changed, the government is not recognizing the importance of change. Moreover, they believe that it is highly productive for students. They say they can prove it by showing the education rank, and we are in the Top 10. But, when we think more carefully, we can easily realize that other countries, like Finland, are better despite the students studying for only five hours. Compared to the average twelve hours of studying in Korea, our education is not efficient. And I know why this contradiction happens in our nation. We don’t have time to think about our future life. If the students could have the opportunity, many students will easily improve their performances with less amount of time. For instance, students who are good at playing sports will train themselves to have a career associated with sports. Students who are looking to become a diplomat will study a foreign language harder. By doing these activities, students can find improvement while enjoying their studies.

I know adults make efforts to improve our academic performances, and I would ask them to change Korean education to support the students with higher IQs, academically and economically. Also, they need to have a discussion about the new education method. It won’t be hard since there are lots of precedents that teach us which method we must not use, or the method that must be used. When we all realize that education is one of the few methods to develop our nation, we will see the need to have a better education system. A better education system means better student performance, it’s more likely to get an advanced education from other nations, and more successful men and women will develop our country to become a strong nation. I do believe that our education must be changed, and it’ll promise a better future for hard-working Korean students.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

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    Oct 25, 2014 @ 21:50:13

    Great ɑrticle, exactly what I wanted to find.


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