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Korean Youth Study Longest Hours in OECD

Korean youth study an average of three hours more per day than adolescents in 30 other OECD member countries, or 15 hours more per week, according to a report released by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Family Affairs on Thursday. On the other hand, they sleep one hour less compared to their counterparts in five countries -- the U.S., the U.K., Sweden, Finland and Germany -- and exercise 22 minutes less.

According to the comparative study on the life patterns of children and adolescents commissioned by the National Youth Policy Institute, Koreans aged between 15 and 24 spent an average of seven hours and 50 minutes per day on studying at school, private crammers or at home as of 2003, nearly three hours longer per day than the OECD average of five hours. Japanese students spent five hours and 21 minutes per day, Germans five hours and four minutes, and the British three hours and 49 minutes.

The average time spent on private tutoring was one hour and 59 minutes per week for Korean students, leading by a large margin the 22 minutes in Japan, 19 minutes in the U.S., 16 minutes in the U.K., and three minutes in Finland.

But while Korean students spent eight hours and 55 minutes per week on math alone, the country ranked second in the OECD's Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2003 with 542 points, after Finland which scored 544 points. Finnish students spend just four hours and 22 minutes per week on math.

Kim Ki-hun, a senior researcher at the National Youth Policy Institute, said, "A large emphasis on private education and less time spent on self-motivated learning in Korea seem inefficient in terms of academic achievement."

Korean youth sleep for seven hours and 30 minutes per day on average, less than Americans (eight hours and 37 minutes), the British (eight hours and 36 minutes) and Germans (eight hours and six minutes). Korean adolescents spend an average of just 13 minutes a day exercising on weekdays, merely half the 37 minutes for Americans, 24 minutes for Germans, 26 minutes for Swedes and 22 minutes for Finns.

The time spent on watching TV or videos by Korean youth totaled one hour and seven minutes, shorter than the two hours and 12 minutes for Americans, two hours and eight minutes for the British, one hour and 55 minutes for Finns and one hour and 27 minutes for Germans.

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Tags: culture, school
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