[Letters]Study habits only make hagwon richer

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[Letters]Study habits only make hagwon richer

When Korean students are asked what school they go to, they pause a bit, seemingly perplexed, before answering. With all the academies and cram courses they go to, it is almost as if Korean students at any given time are attending at least four schools. This is the reality for middle school and high school students in Korea.

The issue of private education is almost a tiresome topic because it appears in the news frequently, with no concrete solution in sight. Whenever the issue of private education is brought up, the blame always goes to the public schools for not providing enough education. But would the private education industry really disappear if the quality of school education improves?

In objective terms, the quality of public school education has actually improved. More native English speakers are teaching in public schools, and many public schools are being renovated to make school facilities better.

Hence it would be logical to expect the number of private academies and education institutes to decrease. However, the rise in the number of such academies shows no sign of stopping.

But it may not be the quality of school education but the mind-set of Korean parents that is keeping the business of private education going. Whenever Korean parents think that their children are a little behind, they frantically start looking to enroll them in the most prestigious academies.

Instead of telling their children to study harder, they send them to hagwon.

But if a student does not study on his own, going to an academy is of no use. Such academies cannot make students’ grades better with a magic spell.

Korean students need to get in the habit of self-study. They need to change their concept of education. Korean students need to stop turning to their academy teachers and tutors and just stay put at their desks and study by themselves.

If the students do not change their study habits, then all is well for all the private academies that we thought were on the verge of going out of business.

Kim Da-yeon, student, Sungnam Foreign Language High School
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