Which country’s children feel unhappy the most? It is Korea. That is, satisfaction of Korean children is the lowest in the world. According to research of the Ministry of Health and Welfare in 2014, Korea recorded the lowest rate of happiness in present life among OECD countries. Many experts concluded that competition is a significant element causing this rank. Competition culture is determined as the reason for this result. Competition culture, such as teaching by rote in kindergarten and schools can evoke unhappiness in children. Actually, the vertical Korean education is mentioned as a social problem all over the world. The background this culture settled is weighing and ranking is appearing endlessly in Korea. A long time ago, Koreans considered manpower as the significant element for economic growth to complement deficient natural resources. Furthermore, the economic structure centered on major companies evoking competition among manpower continuously. Therefore, many problems related to invasion of human rights are appeared in recent years. Competition is inevitable considering the restricted resources in Korean society. However, Korean society considers humans as part of the machinery. Is that okay?
Filthy World Where Only the First Class Is Remembered!
Twelve Years Only for University Entrance
In the presidential election period, candidates of the presidential election start to bring up reorganization of the education system as a conversation topic. For example, there are issues of special-purpose high school abolition, 5-5-2 system (five years for elementary school, five years for middle school, and two years for career exploration school) and university mergers. As such, many Koreans note education and education fever in Korea is famous all over the world. In Finland, only one alteration to the education system is processed for 10 years. On the other hand, Korea processed about 18 alterations to the education system, but it is still criticized by other countries. Even some Korean parents expressed that the Korean education system is falling into a big hole. Actually, it is a reality that Korean students’ twelve years (six years for elementary school, three years for middle school, and three years for high school) are only for university entrance. Each school should have independent educational topics, but the phenomenon that Koreans consider the educational system as a door to university entrance is widespread.
Education can lead change within society. Furthermore, it is an innovative way to make changes to members of Korean society. In Korea, there are some movements to alter the educational system, but consideration toward the internal system is still deficient. Although many people acknowledged that Korean educational attitudes such as ranking and the one-way teaching of teachers are not appropriate, alternatives toward these systems are not implemented. In this reality, many Koreans cannot acknowledge educational topics in schools and just consider schools as the way to go university. Moreover, many Korean university students make a mistake that university entrance is the only goal for their lives. It can lead that they do not study hard in university and agonize about the way in which to live. Meanwhile, it is predicted that there will be big changes in education due to the fourth industrial revolution. Many are focusing on classes for the sake of arousing interest and on how project studying can be adapted in the existing 6-3-3 system.
Ranking College – Which University Do You Go to?
The problem of ranking colleges is a chronic disease in Korea. The appearance of special purpose high-schools has made a trend of school ranking. However, ranking colleges is more prevalent in Korea. The radical reason is that Koreans can choose which university to go to according to their order of merit, not according to their interests or majors. Due to this system, the terms like ‘서연고서성한중경외시 (known as top Korean universities in Korea)’ and ‘지잡대 (known as universities located in regions other than Seoul) are spread among Koreans. As excellent students come to universities in Seoul a lot, it created a college ranking culture. Furthermore, many Korean students prefer working in Seoul to other areas. The number of Koreans who think they should work in the capital area are increasing, so discussion about decentralization of power is continuously processing. Many Koreans consider the name of universities more seriously than the major they should study for four years. Unlike the elementary-middle-high school educational system, Koreans can choose their majors in universities. However, since Koreans think more about the university name in their selection process, they lose the opportunity to consider their major seriously. Also, it is problem that many Korean university students can choose only one major. Although many students consider changing their majors, Korean universities have restrictions for students to do so.
Internal Problems in Korean Colleges
In Korean society, some institutions stand out as hierarchical. The notable place is the military. However, many universities in Korea show hierarchical natures and university students rank people they meet. Commonly, it is easy to hear the saying “Let’s rank (according to age or class).” Many Koreans are dominated by the stereotype that rank should be settled. In the beginning of every year, there are endless arguments about ranking according to age or class. Unlike age entrance restrictions, there are many students who do not enter universities directly after high school graduation. At this point, discussion about ranking according to age or class becomes a big problem. If you entered university late, you should treat seniors who entered earlier than you considerately. On the other hand, some Korean universities pursue ranking according to age. These kinds of systems are intensifying Koreans’ confusion. It is slice of ranking in a social life full of tracing genealogy that Koreans want to hide.
I Am Better than You
Koreans: You Should Be Accustomed to PR Yourself
The 21st century is a time to PR yourself. PR is an abbreviation for “public relation” and refers to appealing oneself to others. Today it is so important to promote oneself to others because there are so many people who want restricted resources. More people want better workplaces in the capitalist background that there are too many demands, unlike in the presence of restricted resources. Most of the people should appeal to others as to who they are and what excellent abilities they have to get limited resources such as workplaces. In this process, graduation from a top university can be the greatest advantage in Korea. Therefore, ranking college is a related problem that cannot be cut off. Time requiring people to promote oneself is opened because Koreans should compete endlessly to get something and explain why they should get those resources. Many companies in Korea require people to PR themselves. Meanwhile, Koreans are weak to PR themselves. The reason why this phenomenon happened is Confucian culture. Koreans consider hiding their advantages and not reacting too much to compliments as ethical, yet they need to become more accustomed to PR themselves to overcome ranking, but they are still not.
Korea’s weighing and ranking is also prevalent in workplaces such as general companies. Commonly, Koreans classify companies to major companies and small businesses. The background is that Koreans long to join major companies, which is restricted in that ranking is also adapted to the working environment. Koreans should work in a company with high stature and respect to receive better welfare benefits. Due to this phenomenon, Koreans still participate in ranking and weighing and they still have acknowledgement that they should step over other competitors.
Society That Requires Going Overboard
Have you ever used “delivery within the day service” or “pizza delivery assurance system in 30 minutes?” The pizza delivery assurance system was implemented in 2011. It was a service that consumers could get pizza for free if the delivery man arrived more than 30 minutes after they ordered. Due to inhuman competition, many delivery people died or had traffic accidents on the road. Meanwhile, some online bookstores have the condition of delivery within a day. Now Korean consumers post and estimate the quality of service according to the short day service and rank it. After the bookstore market acknowledged that these kinds of postings can affect their sales greatly, they started to compete on days of delivery. Korean consumers are accustomed to fast speed on services and they take an inhuman attitude that someone can sacrifice for their convenience. Employers pursue faster service speed to hold a dominant position, not considering employees’ human rights.
Korean Society = Society of Verticality: Now is Time to Change
There is a common values that each country’s citizens share. In the case of Korea, citizens are trying to rank according to standards such as age. They do not consider others as equal humans, although all humans are equal. Many Koreans select sayings and actions differently after classifying whether someone is one’s elder or one’s junior. Koreans establishes the order of rank among others according to subjective criteria such as age and property when they meet new people. Even some estimate others’ value according to apartment measures where they live and this settled estimation standard can dominate all parts of their values. Weighing with others and ranking is also shining through in university culture in Korea. Young university students should show respect to their seniors and many have deficient acknowledgment of this problem. It is natural that Koreans ask to foreigners, “Where are you from?” first when they meet new foreigners. It shows that many Koreans estimate foreigners according to their national origin. Furthermore, they size up their other attributes based on nationality. Light should be shed on this inhumane aspect of Korean culture.
Korean society has many issues to tackle to solve, such as low birth rate, third longest working times, and top suicide rate. Korea recorded last place on quality of life in 34 OECD countries. Many Koreans are discontented with their lives and it promotes low self-regard. Furthermore, Choi Soon-sil’s government administration monopoly situation made Korean citizens shocked and it finally lead to national anger. Citizens’ self-regard has collapsed according to whole slew of problems. The assumed reasons of Koreans’ low self-regard are the Korean education system that requires students to be at the top, long working time without ensuring human rights, and some social systems do not consider employees’ lives. Ideas that manpower is weighed and development ability is economic power dominated all of Korea for a long time. There is still no change until now when the fourth industrial revolution is coming. Koreans think they should step over others to win in endless competitions. Now, Korea should shed light on personal lives over endless ranking and weighing. < 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >