You are on page 1of 13

History and Culture II

Education System in Korea

Table of Content

History of Education System in Korea Education System Structure Pre-Elementary Education Elementary Education Secondary Education Post-Secondary Education Teacher-centered and Vocational Education Conclusion

History of Education System in Korea (1/2)

During Choson Dynasty, education system established in Seoul in heritage of Confucian. Student at secondary school were exempted from military service. Korean were provided limited education with less than 40% at Tokyo Imperial University at Seoul in 1923. 1945 US occupied South Korea, so the education system was modeled American system: 6:3:3 (K12) and 4 years of higher education. After 1948 the government reformed on education system, however, there were lacking of resources.

History of Education System in Korea (2/2)

Literacy Rate and Government Expenditure in Education in South Korea
Literacy Rate Government Expenditure

27.3 13.9




1940s 1970s 1980s

Education System Structure

Percentage 99.5 98.3

Higher Education
Secondary School

Elementary School
Total Male Female

Pre-elementary School

Pre-Elementary Education
Kindergarten in Korea is not a publicly administered program. Kindergarten composed of children 3-7 years of age. By 1987 there were 397,020 children in 7,792 institutions and overwhelming of women teachers about 92%. Kindergartens often paid homage to the expectations of parents with impressive graduation ceremonies

Elementary Education
Elementary school consists of grades 1 to 6 from age 8 to age 14 in Korean years. Students learn subjects including Korean, Math , science , social studies, fine arts, and English There are a number of private elementary schools in Korea, usually distinguishable by the uniforms their students wear. Elementary schools are called chodeunghakgyo, meaning elementary school.

Secondary Education

Compulsory education up to the ninth grade. In 1987 there were approximately 4,895,354 students enrolled in middle schools and high schools, with approximately 150,873 teachers (69% were male). Competitive entrance examinations at the middle-school level were abolished in 1968. In Seoul, students who performed well in qualifying examinations were allowed to attend better quality schools in a "common" district. High schools in Korea can be divided into specialty tracks that accord with a student's interest and career path. South Korean high schools are insufficiently preparing students for an often learner centered and creative system of education.

Post-Secondary Education

Most students enrolled in high school apply to colleges at the end of the year. There are two options: (early decision plans for college) or (regular admissions). Because college entrance depends upon ranking high in objectively graded examinations, high school students face an "examination hell", a harsh regiment of endless cramming and rote memorization of facts that is incomparably severe. The costs of the "examination hell" have been evident not only in a grim and joyless adolescence for many, if not most, young South Koreans, but also in the number of suicides caused by the constant pressure of tests.

Teacher-centered and Vocational Education

Korean education is more or less teacher-centered. The Korean secondary system of education is highly successful in preparing students for teachercentered education. Vocational high schools offer programs in five fields: agriculture, technology/engineering, commerce/business, maritime/fishery, and home economics. At tertiary level, vocational education and training is provided in junior colleges (two- and three-year programs) and at polytechnic colleges.


Education system in Korea is very successful and can be a good model of teacher-centered education. Education system is structured as followed K12 system of US in addition it also provides optional of vocational education. The government of South Korea made a strong effort to reform the education system from time to time in order to strengthen education system.

References ea N/korea.html