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This article was on the front page of the Korea Herald newspaper recently.   Here are the first couple of paragraphs.

I've heard comments like these somewhere before.

‘Time to change outdated education system’

"Throughout his life, Cho Hi-yeon has always had a reputation as a fighter. During his college years, he was imprisoned for going against the dictatorship of former President Park Chung-hee, and he spent much of his life as a civil rights activist. Indeed, he was one of Korea’s most outspoken progressive advocates.

Now, the 58-year-old Seoul education superintendent is looking to transform the city’s education system through offering equal opportunities in learning.

“I believe that the competition-based education system of the ’60s and ’70s is outdated,” Cho said during an interview jointly conducted by The Korea Herald and The Herald Business, criticizing the system for forcing students to rest as little as possible while poring over textbooks. “Korea’s current education (system) has virtually become like child-abuse.”

Rather than pushing students to just work hard, the newly transformed education system would be about fostering children’s creativity by giving them sufficient time to rest and play. He said it was essential for educators to try to maximize the potential of each student, not just focus on those whose grades are good."


http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20141013001063
"The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."  Steve Jobs


  • Artisis
  • Veteran

    • 233

    • August 21, 2013, 04:52:28 pm
    • South Korea
Re: New Korean Educational System. Pipe dream or reality? Korea Herald.
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2014, 01:07:10 pm »
This is fantastic.


  • JLCutler
  • Veteran

    • 165

    • August 31, 2011, 02:50:38 pm
    • Seoul, Korea
Re: New Korean Educational System. Pipe dream or reality? Korea Herald.
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2014, 01:33:08 pm »
To make this change would require changing Korean culture.


Re: New Korean Educational System. Pipe dream or reality? Korea Herald.
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2014, 01:38:43 pm »
To make this change would require changing Korean culture.

It's a step in the right direction.


  • johnyv40
  • Adventurer

    • 51

    • March 10, 2013, 07:55:16 pm
    • Cheonan
Re: New Korean Educational System. Pipe dream or reality? Korea Herald.
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2014, 02:09:45 pm »
You are right.
No point to try.
Let's just keep everything the same.
Especially the part where we all complain about the Korean system, and how it needs to change.


  • pkjh
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1653

    • May 02, 2012, 02:59:44 pm
Re: New Korean Educational System. Pipe dream or reality? Korea Herald.
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2014, 02:16:31 pm »
I just want students to just pipe down during English. Especially the low level kids. But I guess that requires parents to actually discipline their kids, which for some reason has gone lax in the last generation of parents.


  • Pecan
  • The Legend

    • 3769

    • December 27, 2010, 09:14:44 am
    • Seoul
Re: New Korean Educational System. Pipe dream or reality? Korea Herald.
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2014, 02:49:59 pm »
A few years back, his position was appointed, but now it is an elected office, which will destroy any hope for any fundamental changes to take hold here.

It will just swing back and forth, frustrate teachers, confuse students, and push parents to further rely on hagwons to educate their children.

The teachers in my school continually state that parents send their kids to school so they can go to work and send them to hagwons so they can learn.


  • confusedsafferinkorea
  • Waygook Lord

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    • October 08, 2010, 01:02:32 pm
    • Zhubei, Hsinchu Province, Taiwan
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Re: New Korean Educational System. Pipe dream or reality? Korea Herald.
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2014, 03:21:26 pm »
Unfortunately for Korea this is not going to happen. He will be replaced in a couple of years and things will go on like before.

Korea has dug itself into a very deep hole and the hamster wheel will continue to roll as long as they have the ideas ingrained into them that you must go to college, working with your hands is a no-no, you must be a lawyer, doctor and be rich otherwise you are not successful etc, etc.

Unfortunately, I cannot see it changing any time soon. Kids will continue to go to hagwon upon hagwon, parents will continue to abdicate their parenting responsibilites to the babysitting services (hagwons). As has been said, it will take something huge to change that culture.

I have spoken at length to some of my very reasonable co-teachers and they know it is wrong to send litte Minho to 7 hagwons from the age of 4 but their reasoning is that if they don't do it, little Minsu from next door will and will get into one of the SKY universities, graduate and work for Samsung forever. That seems to be the Korean dream.

So, unless that changes, it will stay the same.

Cry the beloved country.
There is no known medical cure for stupidity!


  • Archeon
  • Expert Waygook

    • 773

    • August 21, 2012, 02:36:28 pm
    • Ulsan
Re: New Korean Educational System. Pipe dream or reality? Korea Herald.
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2014, 03:24:54 pm »


The teachers in my school continually state that parents send their kids to school so they can go to work and send them to hagwons so they can learn.

An interesting concept, and not one I'm inclined to disagree with.
I will tolerate your existence only so far as it doesn't infringe on science.


Re: New Korean Educational System. Pipe dream or reality? Korea Herald.
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2014, 07:46:54 pm »
It sounds like Mr. Cho Hi-yeon may have a hard task in front of him.   

I will be curious to look back on this thread in three years time and see if anything has changed.
"The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."  Steve Jobs


  • pkjh
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1653

    • May 02, 2012, 02:59:44 pm
Re: New Korean Educational System. Pipe dream or reality? Korea Herald.
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2014, 08:20:04 pm »
The culture of parents trying to up their 'friends', and neighbors needs to change first. Otherwise nothing will work.

The thing is, Korean-American parents are just as bad. But I Korean-American kids have a higher chance of saying 'f-u mom, dad, I don't care'. And they end up dropping out of law school and becoming millionaires selling fusion tacos from trucks.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2014, 08:28:53 pm by pkjh »


  • withmatt
  • Super Waygook

    • 319

    • March 04, 2013, 08:32:24 am
    • Guri
Re: New Korean Educational System. Pipe dream or reality? Korea Herald.
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2014, 08:00:51 am »
little Minsu from next door will and will get into one of the SKY universities, graduate and work for Samsung forever. That seems to be the Korean dream.

Sad, but true.  I think Korea has not yet completely distanced itself from the poverty and hardships of the last generation.  At that time, people needed money to pay for the necessities like food and a home, and the unhappiness that resulted from the lack of these basic necessities.  I think this is why they still believe that money will lead to happiness.  Though nobody is going to be rich by being some low-mid level Samsung paper pusher. 

One of my students told me about how her dad proclaimed he has given up on her education.  She is definitely not the smartest student in my class, but it seems like 5th grade is way too early to shed yourself of the mantle of educating your children.   Not to mention that nobody should ever tell their child that they have given up on them.