• Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
No Downloads


Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds



Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

    No notes for slide
  • Schooling varies among nation in many different ways; Social, cultural and political contexts influence a lot here Information and interpretations of schooling in Korea 1. Historical aspects, 2. Administrative and financial structure, 3. Trends and controversies, 4. Current Issues
  • Modern schools = late 19 th and early 20 th centuries by Christian missionaries and local intellectuals. Final days of Chosun dynasty (July 1392 – August 1910), emperor Kojong (became king of Korea while still a young boy) tried to build schools as a way to modernize and defend the country from annexation. It failed and Korea was under Japanese colonial ruling (1910-1945) = produce subjects loyal to Imperial Japan. Imposed school curricula, including language = formation of the imperial citizen, heavy emphasis on moral and political indoctrination. 2 subjects for example: LITERATURE became an instrument of dominance (songs and poems were re-written) and HISTORY: No Korean History (boos were burned and Japan altered the historical facts). Elementary schools = Citizen Schools. Elementary schools in South Korea today are known by the name chodeung hakgyo ( 초등학교 ; 初等學校 ) (literally “Elementary School”) as the term “ gungmin hakgyo ” has recently become a politically incorrect term. C. Destroy the culture and ultimately Korean identity (cultural genocide: name changes). Classes were taught in Japanese. Korean language was an elective. Penalty Point: students were academically penalized for the use of the Korean language during school hours. Eventually the use of Korean language was “forbidden in all schools and business” c. Local leaders in Korea resisted = education of future leaders to achieve national independence
  • After the independence in 1945 = universal education system – based on the traditional American model (6-3-3-4) – free compulsory up to 6 th grade Even during the Korean War (1950-1953). Success: Private investment on secondary and higher education was high Standardized and centralized educational system 2. Rapid economic growth (one of the world's fastest growing economies in a short time). Problems: growing number of students = over-crowded classrooms, shortage of qualified teachers, lack of proper facilities, excessive competition at the National college entrance examination. Solutions: Provincial universities Teacher colleges expanded More junior colleges, including correspondence high schools and colleges 3. Moving into a better quality of education. Measures: Expansion of investment in education, securing highly qualified teachers and improving school curriculum Promoting science education and establishing lifelong education Improving higher education Upgrading school facilities In 1988, the Minister of Education and Human Resources Development established the Advisory Council for Educational Policy: Education “fever” creates social and political problems Education attained “universal” stage
  • Fully democratic 1988 (Olympics), Roh Tae-woo (1988–1993) announced the June 29th Declaration, which included the direct election of the president, Kim Young-sam ( 1993 – February 1998), Kim Dae-jung ( 1998 – 25 February 2003) he has been called the “Nelson Mandela of Asia” for his long-standing opposition to authoritarian rule. Reasons: Economic Development Relationship with former dictators North Korean Policy b. Its rapid transformation into a wealthy and industrialized economy in this short time was termed the Miracle on the Han River : highly accelerated growth, Education boom.
  • c. Policies: Expanding the scope of mandatory education Increasing opportunities for post-secondary education Streamline human resource development Enhance international competitiveness (creativity and science) d. Consequences: 1. Education exodus 2. Decentralization begins 3. Private education and tutoring sector became big business
  • Traditionally highly centralized. The Ministry of Education (MOE) from 1948-2000. In 1980 was created the Text Book Compilation Bureau Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MOEHRD in 2000) = changes in the time of information age. Functions: Policies regarding elementary, secondary and higher education Publishes and approves textbooks Administrative and financial support for all levels of the school system – local education offices and national universities Teacher training and lifelong education programs Human Resources policies MEST: MOEHRD + Ministry of Science and Technology (from Feb. 2008 under new president Lee Myung-Back). 2 main pillars: small government + decentralization of school system. 4 consequences of the new policies: Market-oriented educational policy Acceleration of the decentralization of school system Educational gaps continue to grow Korean neo-conservativism takes charge (express strong patriotic pride and stress Korea's international role). Eunma Apts. are among the oldest and most expensive apartments in Korea, an emblem of Korea’s expensive residences, 31-year-old apartment complex, 4,424 units in 28 buildings, currently priced on average at more than 1 billion won ($876,420) per unit
  • Since 1991 = educational autonomy at the local level: budget planning and major administrative decisions 16 city/provincial education offices and 182 county education offices In 2006: local autonomy law was revised = direct-voting for provincial superintendent and board of education. First time in history, residents can directly vote and elect local educational administrators = school governance for transparency and effectiveness. 2. BUDGET. 3 sources: central government, local governments and independent resources of private schools. Reliance in tuition still is very high, especially at higher education level. Teachers’ salaries = central government Annual grant for local offices = 13% of the internal tax revenue There is a new law exempting private schools from taxes for the purpose of acquisition and sale of properties. Loans are provided to help private schools with expansion and renovation of school facilities. Government’s contribution to research grants, scholarship and annuities has increased steadily.
  • Korea has a single track 6 or 7-3-3-4 = number of years necessary to graduate in primary (including kindergarten), middle school, high school, and college. 2 basic kinds of high schools: humanities-education and vocational/technical Several types of post-secondary institutions: common universities, industrial universities, teachers colleges, junior colleges, broadcast and correspondence colleges, technical colleges, etc. South Korea has one of the highest number of post-secondary degree holders in the world (2 nd after Lybia) with 67.366 per 1,000 people = more than 3 million people 2. CURRICULUM. MEST approves and oversees the national school curriculum of 1-12 grades = equal opportunities for all and also to maintain a certain level in the quality Bad: a) standardized textbooks and materials. b) Curriculum still tightly coupled with university entrance exam. Good: a) allow some flexibility individual schools in accordance with the particular characteristics and objectives of each school. Exs: foreign language and science high schools. b) National curriculum is revised on a periodic basis to reflect new demands, needs of a changing society, and new developments in some disciplines.
  • College Scholastic Ability Test for around 600,000 students at nearly 1,000 venues It is the annual government-administered scholastic achievement test. a type of standardized test accepted by all South Korean universities. CSAT is one of the most rigorous standardized tests in existence, and students start preparing for it as early as elementary school 1. It is managed by the Korea Institute of Curriculum and Examination . The test is offered on the third Thursday of November. 2. For around 600,000 students at nearly 1,000 venues from 8:40 a.m. to 6:05 p.m a) government employees arrive to work later than the ordinary time to avoid traffic jams that could prevent students from getting to testing sites = will be allowed to arrive at work by 10 a.m., an hour later than the usual 9 a.m b) Subway and bus operators will increase the frequency of trains between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. The test results will be released on mid-December. c) parking will be banned within a 200-meter radius of venues d) The Civil Aviation Safety Authority will restrict aircraft operations near the exam sites so that noise will not disturb students during listening tests. A total of 125 flights, both domestic and international, operated by national and foreign carriers will have their takeoff schedules altered between 8:35 a.m. and 8:58 a.m. and 1:05 p.m. and 1:35 p.m. Air travelers are required to check their flight schedule in advance. e) During these times, trains will not use their horns except for an emergency. 2 major consequences: teenage depression and high rates of suicide : South Korea recently surpassed Japan in having the highest suicide rate among the 30 OECD countries
  • Education = being accepted by prestigious universities (SKY). 3 reasons: level-up of socio-economic status (gateway to upper class). it's a prerequisite for finding the right spouse and creating high-powered connections that can span a lifetime. Imprinted in the minds since the 11 th century. 1946the first university (SNU) Intense competition for entrance = huge investments in private tutoring by the parents, who are extremely passionate about the education of their children Secondary schools = cram schools. The prestige of high schools is largely determined by how many graduates go on to the top universities. Student achievement vs. creativity, happiness, effective and enjoyable learning. 2. Koreans are the largest group in the U.S, alone with more than 100,000 (14% of all foreign students) = 5 billion US$ a year Elementary and secondary going overseas = 30% increase every year. Wild geese fathers: The reference is to South Korean men who choose to live alone by sending their children abroad for better education: loneliness, isolation, heart attacks, malnutrition, and meet the family only in the summer.
  • It is the Korean-language word for a for-profit private academy or institute prevalent in Korea. Children of all ages often attend hagwons. not uncommon for students to be enrolled in several hagwon of different subject areas Hagwons may specialize in subjects like math, foreign language, science, art, music. HAGWON FOR EVERYTHING: before their mandatory military service how to clean rooms and aspiring flight attendants the finer points of serving drinks, there is even a school that prepares students for their first blind date. 1885: The first hagwon was founded by Henry Appenzeller who was a missionary and taught English. Private education was banned by Chun Doo-hwan in 1980. Reinstated in 1990s = relaxed restrictions and allowing more individuals to offer private education. 3. Very powerful business. 2008: some regulations (hours and fees) which changed 5 days later. In 2008 it was reported that there were over 70,000 hagwons in South Korea with 47% of them being geared towards high school enrollment. According to the Bank of Korea, a staggering $1.64 billion was spent in 2008 alone and Korea spends an unofficially estimated 30 trillion won (about $30 billion) in private lessons (hagwon + tutoring) per year with an average spending of 233,000 won per month on each student Currently, those in Seoul are barred from offering classes after 10 p.m. Gyeonggi Province set its own at 11 p.m. 4. a) creating an unequal footing for the poor and rich in Korea, b)“hagwon-trap”: Private education is a necessary evil???? President vs. minister c) while some see hagwons as filling a need not being adequately met by the public school system. Most parents said what the government must target is not how long hawgwon operate, but how much they charge.
  • With a national average of 11,000 public protests a year, teachers’ union planning anti-government protest: Korean Teachers and Education Workers’ Union opposing the government’s educational policies ahead of local elections on June 2. Earlier this year, the Education Ministry announced it would fire or suspend teachers who participated in any anti-government protest. 2 unions: Korean Government Employees’ Union and Korean Federation of Teachers ' Associations Elementary schools in Seoul are struggling to fill their classrooms as the number of schoolchildren diminishes year by year. South Korea's birthrate was the world's lowest for the second consecutive year, according to the World Health Organization: A South Korean woman gives birth to 1.2 babies on average, fertility rate was 0.96 last year. The number of students in elementary schools has shrunk to nearly half, with 599,000 students in 2009, down from the city’s record high of 1.18 million students in 1982 = There were 62 students in a classroom in 1982 and last year the number plunged to 29. The city estimates there will be 1.14 million senior citizens and 492,000 elementary school students in the city by 2014. From 2010, 70 percent or more of all College Scholastic Aptitude Test questions will come from lectures aired by the Education Broadcasting System. EBS, a state-run broadcaster specializing in education, offers high school tutoring lessons via TV, radio and the Internet. The ministry said that it will boost investment to 26.2 billion won this year. Criticisms: 1. quality of the EBS lectures 2. lead students’ to ignore lectures at school. Reason: failure to fully prepare for their new surroundings, including U.S. schools' academic programs or financial difficulties. Some of them being accepted thanks to falsified documents created by paid consultants. 56% of Korean students at prestigious American universities gained degrees, while the rest gave up their studies halfway through, The dropout rate was much higher than the 34 percent for American
  • Parents of many students hire consultants to complete essays and other documents for their children aspiring to gain admission to prestigious American universities. These "ghostwriters" forge documents for college applicants both for local and foreign schools. A number of Korean students have gained admission into art schools in the United States by submitting drawings and documents created by hired experts. In some cases, the students transferred to other departments after gaining entrance into the school. Such drawings usually cost some 300,000 won, Portfolios usually consist of 15 to 20 pieces of artwork. Hagwon teachers writes essays for a number of students seeking enrollment at American colleges. Education Minister Ahn Byong-man recently offered a public apology for the school corruption cases that have surfaced in recent months: students improperly enrolling at self-governing private high schools in Seoul (from a low-income or single-parent family will be transferred to a regular high school in his or her residential area): Seoul’s 13 self-governing high schools, which are expected to launch early next month, are required to fill 20 percent of their student capacity each year with students from disadvantaged families. many schools had a difficult time meeting this requirement, and instead accepted students who do not fall under the “social welfare” category. 250 students were found to have enrolled this way Changes: 1. remove English from the college entrance exam known as the Korea Scholastic Aptitude Test (KSAT). the English test of the KSAT would be replaced with a government-accredited English proficiency test, focusing more on practical English communication skills. 2. Students will be able to sit for the alternative English test at any time, year round. 33% of the total 21 trillion won ($18.3 billion) spent on private education. 3. selection of English teachers by including an essay writing test and the evaluation of candidates' listening and speaking skills. The number of the test takers of the four major English tests, namely the TOEFL, TOEIC, TEPS and PELT, has tripled from around 700,000 in 1996 to more than 2 million in 2007. Korea had more TOEFL test takers (102,340) than any other country, accounting for 19 percent of the world's total. Expenditure on education per household surged by 55 percent to 291,078 won as of the end of 2009 from 187,298 won in 2003, while consumer prices rose 20.1 percent during the same period. Spending for tertiary education jumped the most with 81 percent, followed by expenditures for private schooling of children below the age of 19 with 59 percent during the same period. Even in 2009 when the economy saw a meager 0.2 percent of annual growth, education expenditures rose 7.2 percent. Most of the 291,000 won for monthly education, or 93 percent, went to cover children's education and the rest was spent for self improvement of parents.
  • 21 new Meister high schools across the nation. New type of high-quality vocational schools to diversify education as well as to resolve worsening job and skill mismatches in the labor market. Skilled workers under agreements with industrial enterprises and local governments. Various incentives to students: all-expenses-paid scholarships, advantages in getting a job in local governments and advancing to colleges through work-to-school programs. 3,600 students specializing in shipbuilding, mechanical engineering, semiconductors, medical equipment and other diverse fields. The government plans to gradually increase the number of the schools to 50. Goal: eradicate corruption among education officials and senior teachers. Bribery and influence peddling incidents involving education circles. Currently: hold responsibilities to approve the establishment and abolishment of educational institutions, set up educational budgeting and funding, formulate education-related rules, and appoint principals of elementary and secondary schools. New restrictions: expand public recruitment of principals from the current 5 percent of all schools to 10 percent. Some limitations to their right of educational financing. July 2 local elections in which superintendents and members of educational councils will be elected along with administration chiefs and councilors. Starting this semester, elementary, middle and high schools have adopted the “teacher invitation” system, which allows principals to hire up to 20 percent of the school’s teachers upon their own evaluations. The policy was created to liberalize the nation’s school system and give schools some freedom to select their own faculty. However, many schools outside popular school districts are complaining that qualified teachers are applying to schools in the more widely-favored areas, especially districts south of the Han River. Gangnam’s Seoul High School, considered to have one of the best environments to work, hired 19 teachers, or 19.6 percent of its total. The main opposition Democratic Party (DP) is pushing for a plan to expand free school meals to all primary and secondary students. Grand National Party (GNP) called the initiative a populist idea, Thursday, saying that education authorities should not spend taxpayers' money to provide free meals to children born with a silver spoon in their mouth. There are parents who are so poor that they cannot even finance their children's lunch at school so they have to skip meals. Currently, 25 percent of primary and secondary students living in rural areas are entitled to free school meals. The government plans to allow all of these students (approximately 960,000) to receive free lunches at school by 2012. In addition, the education authorities plan to give free school meals to a limited number of eligible children living in urban areas. Parents of primary school students pay 34,000 won per month for school meals, and 50,000 won for secondary students.
  • Private spending on “tutoring” becomes the most important issue in education Public education system is restructured = change on policies Better management in higher education system: college entrance examination and tuition Globalization of Korean schools NEGATIVE: Business as usual Implosion of school system More privatization and business model CHALLENGES: complicated school entrance system, resistant unionized teachers and vested interests in schools, bureaucracy and private institutes


  • 1. KOREAN EDUCATION The Basics and Current Issues Soleiman Dias KORCOS Annual Conference 2010 March 12, 2010 Seoul Foreign School – Seoul, South Korea
  • 2. Brief History of Education in Korea (19C-20C)
    • The Beginning of Modern Education
    • Modern School System
    • Japanese Occupation:
    • A. Curriculum
    • B. Elementary Schools
    • C. Cultural Genocide
    • c. Enlightenment Movement
  • 3. Brief History of Education in Korea (1940s-1980s)
    • Expansion of Modern Education (1945-1950s)
    • Quantitative Expansion (1960s-1970s)
    • Qualitative Expansion (1980s)
  • 4. Brief History of Education in Korea (1990s - today)
    • 4. Education in the 1990s – today:
    • From an authoritarian to a democratic regime
    • Economic
    • progress
  • 5. Brief History of Education in Korea (1990s - today) 4. Education in the 1990s – today: c. Educational Policies d. Results
    • MOE to MOEHRD to MEST
    • Local Educational Offices
    • Educational Budget
    • School System
    • Curriculum
  • 9. Suneung ( 수능 )
    • Management
    • Logistics
    • Consequences
    • Education “Fever”
    • Education “Exodus”
    • – Wild Geese Fathers
  • 11. CRAM SCHOOLS ( 학원 )
    • Definition
    • History
    • Industry
    • Criticisms
    • Teachers’ unions and the culture of protests
    • Seoul schools fight to fill classrooms
    • More CSAT questions to come from
    • EBS lectures
    • 4. Korean Dropouts in the US.
    • Forged Documents for US University Admissions
    • Corruption at Educational Offices
    • New Policies for English Learning
    • Record High in Private Education Spending
    • New technical schools
    • Reduction of power of local education superintendents
    • Teachers selection of schools
    • Free school meals
  • 15. SCHOOLING IN KOREA AT CROSSROAD 3. Future Scenarios
  • 16. MORE INFORMATION Blog: http://educationinkorea.blogspot.com/ Slides: http://www.slideshare.net/ E-mail: [email_address]
  • 17. RECOMMENDED READINGS 1. Choi, Wan Gee (2006). The Traditional Education of Korea , Ewha Womans University Presss 2. MOERHD (2007) Education in Korea (mest.go.kr) 3. Seth, Michael (2002) Education Fever . University of Hawaii Press 4. Phang, Hanam. Educational Inequality in Korea : Recent Trends and Persistent Structure. Korea Journal. Spting 2004 5. Korean Newspapers (Korea Times)