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Samsung to invest more in education programs

Feb 19,2019
Samsung Electronics will expand investments to develop youth education programs, it said Monday.

The company’s three division heads sent an in-house broadcast to employees that day to share a newly set mission: “Enabling people,” which means to help people discover and develop their innate potential. A particular target will be put on developing programs for teens. The theme that will lay out the direction for this corporate social responsibility campaign is “Education for future generations.”

Samsung has conducted corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities in the past, but this is the first time the company has publicly announced its mission. It comes a month after Samsung de facto leader and Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong pledged to fully commit in taking on social responsibility as Korea’s leading conglomerate in a meeting with President Moon Jae-in at the Blue House.

The No. 1 local company by market cap, Samsung Electronics already has a vast lineup of ongoing CSR programs, including educational ones. The designation and public announcement of the new mission, however, signals that the company will be expanding investment in the sector.

Although there are no concrete plans at the moment, a spokesman explained there will be an increase in programs for teens. Now that there is a fixed mission, the programs will also be organized in a more “structured” way instead of the company and affiliates independently devising programs on their own.

“We should realize a new model for future education that is based on our know-how in technology and innovation,” said Samsung President Kim Hyun-suk, who leads the consumer electronics division.

In Monday’s message, there was a repeated emphasis on Samsung’s increased role in society. President Koh Dong-jin, who heads the mobile device business, for example, stressed that no company can communicate with customers if they do not consider social values.

The word social responsibility has become increasingly common at Samsung recently, including in statements for the launch of a research center for fine dust and an official apology to former workers in November who got sick working at chip factories. The drive is particularly evident since Vice Chairman Lee returned to the company’s helm after his release from prison last year, which some industry watchers say is a move to improve the conglomerate’s public image.


BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]


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