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Below is a link to an ABC news story regarding Korean education.

"What does the average 12-year-old Australian child do after school finishes at 3pm?

Chances are they'll spend a couple of hours on homework, an hour or so on their chosen sport and a couple of hours playing video games, watching TV or surfing Facebook.

It's a very different story in South Korea.

Here, students clock off at the same time as their Australian counterparts, but the school day is far from over.

Most students head to a private institute, or hagwon, for extra tutoring, where they'll study for hours, sometimes until midnight.

"Private tutoring in South Korea is really popular and because of that the gap between high class students and low class students is really big," explained Eunkyoung Park, a researcher with the Korean Educational Development Institute."


.......

"Enter the "Happy Education" policy, an initiative from South Korea's President Geun-Hye Park."

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-24/south-korea-launches-happy-education-policy-to-shorten-study-ho/5840152?section=business
"The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."  Steve Jobs


  • orangeman
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1768

    • September 01, 2011, 09:56:35 am
    • Seoul-East Side
Re: South Korea launches "Happy Education Policy" to shorten study hours.
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2014, 03:19:13 am »


Here, students clock off at the same time as their Australian counterparts, but the school day is far from over.

The thing is, school doesn't end at the same time.  If we're talking about elementary, it ends way earlier than my school ever did.  Grades 1-8 we were in school 8:45 to 3:45.  And we didn't have 10-15 minute breaks every 40 minutes.  Here, it ends anywhere from 1 (really 12, not counting lunch) to 2:30.  And it starts at 9.  High schools, yes I guess it's the same. 

Then we had jobs, chores, and other responsibilities.  We had homework and projects and actual grades based on our production at school.  We couldn't sleep or whine to get out of work. 

Quote
Most students head to a private institute, or hagwon, for extra tutoring, where they'll study for hours, sometimes until midnight.
[/b][/i]

Yes, and I would come home at 11pm from work in high school to do my homework till 1am.  And if I dared rest my head or doze off in class the next day I wasn't patted on the hair by my teacher with excuses for my laziness.  If I didn't do my assignment there wasn't the magic word, "BUSY!", to set me free from responsibility.  And on weekends I had to rake leaves and do dishes and clean my room.  I was also expected to keep up with my music and sports, along with my personal interests.  Yet I still found time for an active social life enough to get into trouble here and there and learn life lessons. 

I'm not saying Korean kids don't have it bad, because unfortunately they do.  But it's not from actually being busy.  It's from a culture that believes they must always pretend to be busy.  It's like when you call in sick to work, and then the next day you act sick and then actually sort of start to feel sick.  Except that's life here, with "busy-ness".  They've been pretending so much that they've convinced themselves.  Which would be fine, it's their country.  Except now they're starting to convince idiots in our own country. 

To me, believing Koreans are so busy is like believing guys and gals in K-pop videos are really rich and glamorous.  Use your critical thinking skills, or if not, your common sense.  It's all for show, to sell a product. 



Re: South Korea launches "Happy Education Policy" to shorten study hours.
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2014, 11:01:49 am »
Here, it ends anywhere from 1 (really 12, not counting lunch) to 2:30.  And it starts at 9.  High schools, yes I guess it's the same. 
It isn't at my high school or most elementary schools I know. Classes go 8:40 - 4:20 or a comparable stretch.

Having said that, the students at my high school don't do very much work. Ignoring breaks and lunch, each day has at most 300 minutes of class time. Out of over 1000 students, only a few dozen are enrolled in any hagwon of any kind. No classes give any homework, as all grades are determined by tests.

Korea as a whole may have a problem with excessive work, but I have very little sympathy for the students sleeping in my classes.


  • orangeman
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1768

    • September 01, 2011, 09:56:35 am
    • Seoul-East Side
Re: South Korea launches "Happy Education Policy" to shorten study hours.
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2014, 03:25:25 pm »
Here, it ends anywhere from 1 (really 12, not counting lunch) to 2:30.  And it starts at 9.  High schools, yes I guess it's the same. 
It isn't at my high school or most elementary schools I know. Classes go 8:40 - 4:20 or a comparable stretch.

Having said that, the students at my high school don't do very much work. Ignoring breaks and lunch, each day has at most 300 minutes of class time. Out of over 1000 students, only a few dozen are enrolled in any hagwon of any kind. No classes give any homework, as all grades are determined by tests.

Korea as a whole may have a problem with excessive work, but I have very little sympathy for the students sleeping in my classes.

Sorry, I wasn't clear.  I meant high school hours are the same as back home, not the same as elementary hours. 

Elementary schools in Seoul have pretty short hours, though.  9-2:30 is the longest day, and that's only 4 days (classes end at 12:10 for everyone on W) and only for 5th and 6th graders. 


Re: South Korea launches "Happy Education Policy" to shorten study hours.
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2014, 11:52:51 am »
Yes, and I would come home at 11pm from work in high school to do my homework till 1am.  And if I dared rest my head or doze off in class the next day I wasn't patted on the hair by my teacher with excuses for my laziness.  If I didn't do my assignment there wasn't the magic word, "BUSY!", to set me free from responsibility.  And on weekends I had to rake leaves and do dishes and clean my room.  I was also expected to keep up with my music and sports, along with my personal interests.  Yet I still found time for an active social life enough to get into trouble here and there and learn life lessons. 

Did you also walk 5 miles to school everyday?  Like, that sounds like mostKorean kids- help out at mom's work, clean up around the house and do chores.  My students have golf lessons and their band or piano and they all date and stuff.  Your lifestory isn't that special, either here or back home.  Sorry to break it to you.  You're normal.


  • orangeman
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1768

    • September 01, 2011, 09:56:35 am
    • Seoul-East Side
Re: South Korea launches "Happy Education Policy" to shorten study hours.
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2014, 12:49:12 pm »
Yes, and I would come home at 11pm from work in high school to do my homework till 1am.  And if I dared rest my head or doze off in class the next day I wasn't patted on the hair by my teacher with excuses for my laziness.  If I didn't do my assignment there wasn't the magic word, "BUSY!", to set me free from responsibility.  And on weekends I had to rake leaves and do dishes and clean my room.  I was also expected to keep up with my music and sports, along with my personal interests.  Yet I still found time for an active social life enough to get into trouble here and there and learn life lessons. 

Did you also walk 5 miles to school everyday?  Like, that sounds like mostKorean kids- help out at mom's work, clean up around the house and do chores.  My students have golf lessons and their band or piano and they all date and stuff.  Your lifestory isn't that special, either here or back home.  Sorry to break it to you.  You're normal.

Yeah.......

That was my point.  Korean teens coming home late isn't special.  They don't work harder than other nationalities. 

But nice try.  Next time do yourself a favour and ask yourself comprehension questions about posts before you hit the reply button and embarrass yourself. 


  • tgraves
  • Adventurer

    • 35

    • August 28, 2013, 08:20:51 am
    • Daegu, South Korea
Re: South Korea launches "Happy Education Policy" to shorten study hours.
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2014, 02:31:37 pm »
I do think Orangeman made a good point about "being busy" or seemingly busy. Most of my students always tell me stories about how they are so busy. Then I ask them what they learn and what they do. A few questions down the line you realize they actually weren't doing all that much. Most of the "busy" lifestyle comes from the fact that they simply attend many different hagwons or attend to many academic duties (studying, practice tests ...).

In this culture, as I have noticed, there is a slight or heavy admiration, depending on the person, for those that are suffering or lightly suffering or as we know it persevering.  They think that it makes that person a strong or dedicated person. This is reflected throughout their culture. People are constantly making remarks about things that make it sound like they are incurring negative effects from them.

A very simple set of incidents are how Koreans refer to being hungry, cold or hot. If you listen to the intonation and how they say it, it generally is not a statement about their current state of being but a complaint about how outside factors or bodily factors are keeping them from enjoying their life or properly working. Yes I realize this is their culture and at times other cultures can do this as well. But when most English speakers say they are cold it is not received as the idea that the cold is making them suffer or hindering them from functioning optimally.

One additional observation is the physical motions that go along with the sayings that Koreans use. Most people are quite animated when it comes to describing these feelings. Most westerners rely on the heavy use of facial movements to convey feelings, but Koreans generally do a lot of body motions. I don't mean they are flailing their arms and legs around but there are quite a few exaggerated motions to convey feelings. In turn the more exaggerated the more serious their feeling.

Therefore, I believe that the idea of continued education is not simply done for academic success but it is done subconsciously in an effort to remain in a constant state of busyness.

This is just my opinion on the matter. I'm curious what others think.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2014, 02:35:40 pm by tgraves »


Re: South Korea launches "Happy Education Policy" to shorten study hours.
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2014, 02:44:43 pm »
My question is: how will the Happy Education Policy reduce suicide in South Korea?