A Prison V.S. Freedom

by Cynthia_pare on March 7, 2016 - 7:01pm

South Korea’s schools are killing their students. Physical and psychological issues are hitting the learners in an exaggerated overwhelming way. For instance, the article “The Assault Upon our Children” by See-Wong Koo directly says: “Among young South Koreans who confessed to feeling suicidal in 2010, an alarming 53 percent identified inadequate academic performance as the main reason for such thoughts.” Koreans might be part of the smartest kids in the world by belonging to the class that has among the highest ranks on international education tests. However, the amount of pressure put on their shoulder is awfully too high. They do not know what having fun is,studying is their only activity in most traditional families. In general,they are shocked when they go out of their country and see people around playing, smiling and enjoying life. In a traditional family, the conversation between a child and his parents is always turning around academic performances. Parents do not see the problem with deciding their children’s avenir. They actually think that their own daughters and sons are made to toe the line. Success is all that matters! Everyone is in competition with everyone, because their are limited space in the universities. An acceptance means the world to Korean. l A typical Korean stays at school until 10 p.m. or even later. According to author of “The Assault Upon our Children” “[...]The average South Korean student works up to 13 hours a day, while the average high school student sleeps only 5.5 hours a night to ensure there is sufficient time for studying.

Finnish’s education is very different. Their objective is to make high-education accessible for everyone. Testing is not valued by the system which is a very distinctive method, mainly from the Korean one. Instead, they focus on learning. The matriculation examination is the only national one. This result leads students to higher education institutions. Their teaching goal is to be effective to make autonomous students. The Finnish National Board of Education explains that: “[t]he operations of both polytechnics and universities are built on the freedom of education and research.” It is free for any schools types, from elementary ones to Universities. Transportation and materials are the only fees that can be added to the receipt of an unlucky student that is ineligible to study grants and loans when it comes to secondary education.

The accessibility to higher education used to be an issue. However, in the 1960’s Cegep and university of Quebec networks had been created. The purpose of this creation of networks was to increase the number of potential students with more available institutions. Establishments were spread all over the province. By the 1990’s the result could be seen by the highly increased number of students. Cegeps were created to facilitate the entrance to universities or into the working world. This is a system very unique to Quebec. The system also values a lot the passage to university. Plus, to insist people to go to school all citizens pay a certain amount per year that goes to such establishments. The fees are the same for everyone.

As you can all see, education systems can differ a lot from one country to another. Different mentalities or values can distinguish one part of the globe from another. For instance, freedom is very descriptive of the Finnish’s program, whereas on the other hand Korea’s strictness and control over their students are representative words. In Finland, they are very generous with their apprentice. In Korea, they are not generous enough with their students. Quebec, like Finland wants to make higher education accessible for everyone, but it is not as free and as easy to get in. Koreans, though, are pretty much in a prison of books and tests until they get to college. They do not make it easy for anyone. In fact, you need to study until you cannot stand up and open your eyes. “No pain, no gain” is Korea’s philosophy. Whereas, Finland and Quebec are opened to everybody and the feeling of pain is rarely lived by any canadian or finnish student.

First paragraph: koo, See-Wong, “An Assault upon our children.” The New York Times, 1 August 2014. Web. 7 March 2016 http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/02/opinion/sunday/south-koreas-education-...

Second paragraph: “Equal opportunities to high-quality.” The Finnish National Board of Education education, n.d. Web. 7 March 2016 http://www.oph.fi/english/education_system

Third paragraph: “Special Interest Groups Accessibility and success : research and successful strategies in Québec, Canada.” C.A.P.R.E.S., 24 June 2009. Web. 7 March 2016 http://www.capres.ca/activite/special-interest-groups-accessibility-and-...


Your article was very informative and had a great angle about the issue. I wrote myself about the rates of literacy in the world in my article A-B-C… W-O-R-K. I think that showing us very different technique of teaching in the world was a great idea. I think that both of our articles are linked together, because even though I am not talking about the countries you mentioned, my article explained the reason why some kids are not able to go to school and some solutions and yours, the treatments they received in their schools. It would draw a good portraits of the reality of education in the world. It would give more impact about what we can do and what we should do. Good job!
My article: http://www.newsactivist.com/en/articles/champlain-college-2016-newsactiv...

Your article really exposes one of the worst situations a 21st century student could find himself too and the pressure Koreans students are facing reminds me of the stress college students of the North American world are under. I wrote a post about that and yours seems similar because both denounce how these scholars are under too much pressure from either their families or their society. Also, both of our articles share how the mental health of these students is getting worse and worse because of that stress cause by their peers and how that problem is only getting bigger as time passes by.