To be honest, I did not study in Korea during my adolescence.
So that doesn’t make me an authority in studying in Korea. I studied throughout my youth in Malaysia, Singapore and Canada. Perhaps people in Korea find that more interesting. But, studying itself anywhere, is not fun. 🙂
Joke aside, I think studying is a personal journey. Learning results in personal growth. When these two work hand in hand, the result is enlightenment and change for the better. So any study should allow people to learn, realize something, and then change for the better. I repeated that because so many educational institutes, systems, academies, etc, struggle to bring the student all the way. Their role is just half of the equation, no matter how great, the other half relies on the person.
Korea tends to focus on that one half, ignoring the person. They often make studying itself such a hardship that students do not have time to learn, realize and change on their own. They often do not even think they have a role to play. They fail in study, and they fail in learning about who they are, and then blame the system. It’s a vicious cycle.
How do I know this? I taught Koreans, both young and old, for nearly two decades.
Teaching is in the other half of this equation, and it is a representation of the system. I realized very soon that I do not represent the system very well, because I do not agree with it. It did not help the system, but it helped me to become a system of my own. It’s a shame because if the teacher agrees with the system, the result would be optimized. And this is why Korea floods with private schools or academies. They do not agree with the system and decided to come up with their own systemS.
It’s a huge waste of centralized resources, time and effort.
Not to mention, personal learning becomes tougher.
As the students grow, they have to figure out all over again, what they must learn. I’d say that’s the reason for the abundant personal growth books and rise of help guides market. It’s good that people are trying to learn, but students are still in the same system from ages ago.
Studying is necessary beginning, it must be done in as many various fields as possible, from as many angles as possible. And when it’s done, the individual must learn with it by application, experience and trial and error. Only then the process is complete. New technologies and connectivity will assist in this process. But what we must do on our own, is to be brave enough to learn.
Learning abroad allowed me to be brave. As I mentioned above, I did not study in Korea. But it is clear to me, studying Korea do not allow students to be brave. I think that’s the missing key.
It’s a tall order to ask the system to teach ‘bravery’ to students here. But we gotta start somewhere. If the parents are not strong enough to allow their children to be brave, or the teachers do not agree with the system, and the system do not allow room for students to learn, we cannot ask the students themselves to be brave alone. For maximum result, the biggest authority must be brave.
I wonder if that can happen anytime soon.