Korean Language Blog

Education System Reform in South Korea Posted by on Oct 10, 2018 in Korean Language, Vocabulary

The South Korean government is trying to implement a new compulsory education system. This issue has been receiving a great deal of attention by South Korean People.

In the United States, 어린이 (children) typically receive 무상교육 (free education) for 십이 (twelve years). In most states, children between the ages of six and eighteen receive their 정규교육 (formal education): 초등학교 (elementary school), 중학교 (middle school), and 고등학교 (high school).

Interestingly, North Korea offers 의무교육 (compulsory education) for twelve years as the United State does: one year of 유치원 (kindergarten), five years of 소학교 (elementary school), three years of 초급중학교 (middle school), and three years of 고급중학교 (high school). Since 2017, the North Korean government executed twelve years of the compulsory education system throughout the whole country.

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How about South Korean Education System?

While the United States and North Korea implement twelve years of free education, South Korea has employed nine years of compulsory schooling funded by the government: six years of 초등학교 (elementary) and three years of 중학교 (middle school).

During President Moon’s campaign for his presidency, free preschool and 고등학교 교육 (high school education) were one of his core campaign pledges. South Korea is well known for a phenomenon called 교육열 (Education Fever), and people spend a tremendous amount of money on 과외 (private tutoring) and 학원 (private afterschool academies). In an effort to reduce the high level of expenditure on 사교육 (private education), President Moon has tried to extend 무료 공교육 (free public education) for high schools beyond middle schools. The South Korean government originally planned to offer free high school education from 2020 gradually, but this plan might come into effect in the fall semester of 2019. The Korean government is working hard to come up with about two trillion won per year for related budget.

감사합니다! (Thank you!)

***Related Vocabulary***

  1. 어린이   (children)
  2. 무상교육   (free education
  3. 십이년   (twelve years)
  4. 정규교육  (formal education)
  5. 초등학교  (elementary school)
  6. 중학교  (middle school)
  7. 고등학교  (high school).
  8. 의무교육  (compulsory education)
  9. 유치원  (kindergarten)
  10. 소학교  (elementary school in North Korea)
  11. 초급중학교  (middle school in North Korea)
  12. 고급중학교  (high school in North Korea)
  13. 고등학교 교육  (high school education)
  14. 교육열  (Education Fever)]
  15. 학원  (private afterschool academies).
  16. 사교육  (private education),
  17. 무료 공교육  (free public education)

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About the Author: Kyung-Hwa

안녕하세요? My name is Kyung-Hwa, and I am a native of South Korea. I am accustomed to both English and Korean languages and cultures. I greatly appreciate and love both of them. I am passionate about learning different languages, and I have studied English, Japanese, and Spanish. In my spare time, I take joy in singing, playing the piano, and reading books. I also enjoy traveling around the world, meeting people, and embracing new cultures and languages...