[LETTERS to the editor]Liberating education

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[LETTERS to the editor]Liberating education

I have a pen pal in France. We write each other about a lot of topics, from new movies to the food crisis. A few days ago, I heard that she is planning to go to Japan to study the Japanese language. It was quite shocking, hearing that she thinks studying Japanese is more important than going to university. At the same time, I envy Japan for attracting a lot of foreigners to its culture. It is really a culturally strong nation. I was sad about the fact that Korea is not.

I tried to think what makes Japanese culture attractive. As I am also one of the majority who like Japanese actors and TV programs, I concluded that creativity and imagination are the factors that make Japanese culture attractive to foreigners. Whenever I see Japanese animation or TV programs, I am amazed at the uniqueness of the story or the composition. What makes Japanese people creative and imaginative, I think, is education. Most Japanese students participate in club activity after class. I believe that an environment that respects students doing what they want is the source of creativity and imagination in Japanese culture.

In the first direct election of Seoul’s superintendent of education, Kong Jung Taek was elected. He pledged deregulation and a competitive environment based on liberalism. I hope he creates an environment that allows students to pursue what they want. This is the way to make students lively and to make Korea a culturally strong nation. I am in my junior year of high school so I won’t have a chance to enjoy the effects of such a policy, but I hope younger students will be able to study in that environment.

Kim Kyung-mi, Jayang 3-dong, Gwangjin, Seoul

*e-mail to eopinion@joongang.co.kr or via fax to 82-2-751-9219
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