Jung Ha-na is a middle school student in Korea. Like other Korean students, she also goes to several private after school academies (hagwon).
When the vacation comes, unlike students in other countries who look forward to some free time, Korean students still go to study at hagwon.
She said, “If the vacations starts, I have to go to private institutes and stay there the whole day. Whereas during the school year, at least I can get some rest at school.”
Vacation is not a vacation for Korean students
Three out of four Korean workers send their children to private institutes during the vacation and spend 500,000 won or $440 for private education.
According to a Job Korea survey of 470 workers with two to four kids that asked ‘do you send your kids to hagwon during vacation?’ 73.4% of them said that they do.
The average number of hagwon that children attended during the vacation was 2.3. Broken down by age, this came in at 2.5 for elementary school students, 2.4 for middle school students, 2.2 for high school students and 1.9 for preschool children.
The monthly average of private education expenses for their children is 530,000 won or $468. By age group, this was 734,000 won for high school students, 642,000 won for middle school students, 466,000 won for elementary school students and 369,000 won for preschool children.
Mrs. Lee is a mom of a middle school student. She just sent her daughter to another private institute to teach integrated science that combines liberal arts and natural sciences that will be taught in high school from next year
She said, “I went to the briefing session for high school held by private institutes. There I was told that integrated science will be as important as English and math. It seems like other students are preparing in advance. So I decided that my daughter also should study before going to high school. Basically, I registered at the institute because I was worried.”
A survey of 4545 teachers, 3707 parents and 2149 students with the title of “The result of monitoring of normalization of public education” was released on Oct. 1.
According to the survey, the answers from the question, why does private education exist?, was as follows: Preparation to enter the school (40.3%), anxiety (33.2%) and preparation for lessons in advance (15.3%).
As you can see from the survey, parents still doubt if their kids, who have only public education, can survive from competition with other students.
As long as parents’ anxiety still exist, the one that suffers most will be students themselves.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.net)
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