10:23 am - 01/21/2013

Education Ministry Aims to Make High School Education Free


The education ministry will aim to make high school education free for everyone by 2017
as part of efforts to implement President-elect Park Geun-hye's campaign pledges on education policy, officials said Tuesday.

Officials from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology reported the plan to the presidential transition committee during a policy briefing earlier in the day, saying that it would expand the current program that provides free education only to students in vocational schools or from low-income families.

These groups account for about a third of all high schoolers.

If realized, the plan will help ensure all children aged 3-17 receive free childcare and education before the end of Park's administration. The outgoing government is pushing to provide free childcare services to all children aged 3 to 5.

On Park's pledge to halve the burden of college tuition fees, the ministry said it expects to be able to give scholarships to all students in the bottom 30 percent income bracket within this year, a year ahead of schedule.

Ministry officials also reported plans to implement Park's pledge to exempt middle school students from taking exams for one semester during which they will be able to explore possible career paths.

Based on Park's pledge to launch a new ministry overseeing the science and technology industry, the officials said they plan to increase investment in scientific research and development to 5 percent of gross domestic product. 

Yonhap News via Korean Heral
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benihime99 21st-Jan-2013 03:36 pm (UTC)
XD I read the title too fast and understood "Make High School Education Free" as in high school being freed of education and I was all "WHAT"?

It's kinda weird to me that a public school wouldn't be free tbh. So yeah for free high school

Edited at 2013-01-21 03:37 pm (UTC)
iftheshoefits88 21st-Jan-2013 04:24 pm (UTC)
I had the same reaction! I was like wut....0.0

But yeah! Anything to further education and provide for the youth, I'm totally behind!
keyllastic 21st-Jan-2013 04:46 pm (UTC)
Sounds super grandiose - but I really hope they'll succeed, even if a little late of their planned schedules.
921227 21st-Jan-2013 05:01 pm (UTC)
That all sounds great. But it's really odd that it isn't free to begin with. In the US- public school education through high school is free and I only knew you had to pay for materials, not exactly attendance. Which is kind of shitty when you think about it because high school is....mandatory I'm assuming?
fabledlamb 21st-Jan-2013 07:32 pm (UTC)
High school isn't compulsory in South Korea. You're only required to graduate from middle school (at the age of 14/15). But in reality almost all students (more than 90%) finish high school so making it free for everyone is definitely a step in the right direction imo.
satin999 21st-Jan-2013 05:23 pm (UTC)
I didn't even know it wasn't free. Hopefully they'll succeed.
ari_meh 21st-Jan-2013 06:23 pm (UTC)
goldynchickie 21st-Jan-2013 05:41 pm (UTC)
Totally mis-read the title, lol. Well, I hope this happens.
zombiechick815 21st-Jan-2013 05:46 pm (UTC)
I hope this goes through. Everyone deserves to be educated.
p_jae 21st-Jan-2013 05:52 pm (UTC)
This is fantastic.
lightframes 21st-Jan-2013 05:57 pm (UTC)
I think it sounds great. Increased access to education and healthcare are important.
fantaesticbaby 21st-Jan-2013 06:22 pm (UTC)
I read that as 'Higher education' and thought it meant university and I was ready to be bitter and jealous.
Lol :(
soramai 21st-Jan-2013 06:48 pm (UTC)
great news
b1gay4 21st-Jan-2013 07:30 pm (UTC)
pleas e dO
asnindie 21st-Jan-2013 07:32 pm (UTC)
Well it's good for social mobility but most schools will still refuse kids from poorer backgrounds, as is the case in the UK most of the time.
anewsymphony 21st-Jan-2013 09:15 pm (UTC)
the problem with south korean education is not high school tuition fees, it's that e v e r y o n e goes to hakwons/private institutions to get ahead of what is taught in schools and what you actually learn in school is more like revising what you've learnt at hakwon. people who don't go to hakwons just cannot viably compete against students who do (well unless they're super gifted i guess) and this is one of the factors (among many) that causes korea's social mobility problem, not tuition fees. it is hakwon fees that parents pour their money into (not just during the school year but during holidays too) and the gov't knows this.

s korea needs to up the quality of their teaching and provide actual value for money/teach kids how to THINK rather than memorise, how to solve problems by themselves rather than just teaching them to learn the solutions. it needs a complete reform, and this initiative, well-intentioned as it is, will do nothing in the long run for s korea's education problem and the way it churns out people who are incapable of thinking outside the box. sorry for ranting but i feel really strongly about this. i feel lucky as hell to have been brought up in the west but the rest of my cousins weren't. it's a joke of an education system.
muzegrey 22nd-Jan-2013 12:14 am (UTC)
Actually students can compete even if they don't go to hagwons, but many are not self-disciplined. Hagwons usually reinforce what kids are learning at school, unless it's a hagwon for college test taking.
And most hagwons are used for babysitting just as much as extra studying.

The real factor is that in Korea business is done through networking and if you aren't in the right circles, even with good specs it's hard to climb into anything. Not that specs are a good thing anyway because having good specs doesn't mean a worker will necessarily be good at work.
xoshio 21st-Jan-2013 09:38 pm (UTC)
in denmark you get paid for studying lol
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