Lessons from online lecturesHigh school lectures offered online by the Gangnam District government have drawn more than 1 million views.
Some 200,000 students connect to the Gangnam Academic Aptitude Internet Program, dubbed Gangnam Ingang, and 1,000 new members sign up every day. The district has been providing online high school lectures for the past five years.
Internet-savvy youth prefer studying at home with online teachers. Students also favor online lectures over cram schools and out-of-school tutorial assistance.
The Gangnam online lectures have been growing in popularity and distinguishing themselves from the pack for their quality and low service charges.
Anyone paying an annual membership fee of 30,000 won ($25.44) a year can access 590 general lectures and 9,900 specific lessons, practically a giveaway when compared to other online programs that charge from 80,000 won to 100,000 won a class.
The Korea Education Development Institute estimates that the Gangnam online lesson program can help save some 82.1 billion won in private education spending annually.
Gangnam online lectures could not have become so popular based purely on price.
Qualified lecturers provide tailor-made presentations and have added credibility to the lessons. These lecturers were recruited from among the best private tutors and teachers at public schools.
A student from a rural area who benefitted from Gangnam online lectures was even accepted into the elite Seoul National University.
It will take a lot of time for public high schools to meet student needs and make private spending unwarranted.
In the meantime, we need more affordable and quality education programs like Gangnam’s Internet lectures to water down private education spending.
The public education broadcaster EBS, which offers high school tutoring lessons via TV, radio and Internet, should become more competitive and enhance its offerings.
The broadcasting company is subsidized by public funds of more than 10 billion won a year, yet proves no competition to a small district government. EBS must live up to its role of compensating for private education through quality learning content and lecturers.