Sunday, April 27, 2008

South Korea's Top Student

The education has always been a top issue in every country.
The South Korea is no exception.
This NY Times article is about top-notch Korean students who strive to get into U.S. universities. This story led me think of lots of things. (i.e., about Korean society, its cramming stytem of education, and even myself)

Indeed, it is a solemn reflection of Korean society.
It is a quite well-known fact that Korean students work so hard to get into prestigeous universities.
Korean students' absolute objective is to go on to prestigeous university.
Unless they achieve their goal, it is commonly observed that they retake the Korean SAT simply to get into specific university, based on the perception that it determines their life significantly.
As article described, going to American schools is a prevalent phenomenon or fad among top-notch students. This group of students are assuredly top students who hope to unfold their dreams by going to U.S. universities.
Their parents can also afford to get high education to their children.

I have mixed feelings about this matter since I am exactly inbetween.
I dislike its negativities for sure.
(Excessive competition, distrust, lack of morality, academic cliquishness)
However, it makes me feel somewhat sad to see this as an object of scorn, at the same time. Because it is natural for human to pursue such ambitions in order to live in better conditions, including myself. Besides, the enthusiasm about education undoubtedly served as a great impetus to move Korean economy forward.
One of the student's statement lingers my mind.
"I feel proud that I’ve endured another day."

What do you interpret this phenomenon?
Please check out the life of these highly motivated Korean students.

1 comment:

Joo-Eun Kim said...

Yeah, the student's statement lingers my mind too. When I was studying in Korea I had the same feeling too. Everyday was non-stop studying for Korean SAT. After moving to Japan, I was so relieved since in Japanese educational system, you study few subjects which suit your field of interest. So I did not have to study math that hard since I chose political science as my college major.
On the other hand, my cousin went to Daewon foreign high school which was also on the front page of NY times, but she enjoyed her 3 years of high school since she loved studying English and enjoyed club activities. So for students who try to use the high school as a tool to get into top universities, the high school life would be pain, but a student like my cousin is not a bad case I guess even though she went to tough high school. Nonetheless, the education system is pretty bad in Korea and since I am thinking it was a good choice to go to Japanese high school and University, it proves that I did not enjoyed studying in Korean educational system.