South Korea takes pride in the academic achievements of their youth. High standards are expected of each and every student but to reach these standards, students have to sacrifice everything but studying. One student stepped up and confessed the harsh reality behind the educational statistics that are glorified around the world.
A Korean pupil spoke honestly about their life as a high school student and the stress it creates.
In an interview, the high student compared the school system to hell. They described the school year as a horrifying experience saying, “As soon as the semester starts, school starts to become scary”. According to them, there is “tremendous stress and infinite competition. Even if it is grade 1.”
The student mentioned the effect of having to attend school saying that they lack sleep from extra hours of studying.
This student said they got as little as 3 hours of sleep per night. They explained, “I have a lot of homework to go to school, but I have to study my homework so I do not have to do my homework tonight. If I spend the night, I will fall asleep at school tomorrow”.
With College education being the main goal for high school students, the South Korean schooling system has become a competition for academic excellence among students.
The workload given to high school student has caused unbearable stress levels. This student further commented:
“I just want to open this entrance hell quickly. I still have two years left. I feel depressed because I feel like I want to commit suicide several times a day.”
– Anonymous Korean Student
South Korea’s youth has one of the highest suicide rates worldwide due to the workload of school. Suicide is the leading cause of death among high school and college students aged 15 to 24.
Having taken great pride in the success of students and an advanced academic system, the South Korean school system continues to be a competitive system for students.
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