South Koreans Spend Way Too Much Money On Education
Business Insider - over 4 years
MIRIM HIGH SCHOOL for girls in Seoul is living proof that South Koreans take education seriously. The students, aged 15 to 18, bow respectfully whenever a teacher passes. Many of them board, and all attend extra-curricular classes from 6pm to 9pm. Do they work too hard? Chang Byong-gap, the headmaster, laughs at the question. South Korea’s passion for education has historical roots. In the early years of the Choson dynasty, which lasted from 1392 to 1910, those who passed a civil-service exam could gain entry to the privileged yangban class, a scholarly aristocracy. Those roots were reinforced by more recent history, notes Michael Seth, author of "Education Fever". Under Japanese colonial rule between 1910 and 1945, Koreans’ educational aspirations were frustrated, resulting in pent-up demand. In the carnage of the Korean war of 1950-53, many of the old social hierarchies crumbled, convincing people they could succeed by their own efforts. Before 1971 children were taught in two...
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