Education in Korea

Geoffrey S. DeSena

Given that this blog was supposed to be dedicated to education, I suppose I shall return to that topic. For more travel writings, please see my other project, Cast Off, Set Sail.

Here, I will provide a quick primer on what I have experienced with the Korean education system so far.

Koreans take education extremely seriously, some would say too seriously. Born out of the Confucian ideal of an educated ruling class, advancement in Korean society is based on one’s educational attainment. For centuries, becoming part of the elite class required achievement on a written examination. In the age of international competition and standardized testing, this tradition has become even more entrenched in Korean society.

Children begin preparing for higher education in elementary school. Everything is based on competition. The best students get into the best middle schools, the best high schools, and the best universities. Success in academics…

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