School days not so happy for many

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School days not so happy for many

Only a little over half of Korean students are satisfied with their lives, a survey released yesterday showed, ranking the country at the bottom among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

A survey of 5,437 students ranging from fourth grade to high school seniors showed that 53.9 percent were happy with their lives. This is below the 26 OECD members’ average of 84.8 percent and the top-ranked Netherlands, where 94.2 percent of students said they were happy.

The poll was conducted by Yonsei University’s Institute for Social Development and was compared to Unicef’s data on other countries in 2006.

Of the students, 26.5 percent said they were unhappy with their health, and 18.3 percent said they felt they don’t belong anywhere. Another 16.7 percent said they feel lonely.

The students cited different sources of happiness depending on their age. Younger students said family is necessary for happiness, while high school seniors cited money.

The level of stress reported was 10 percent higher among girls than boys, with the former experiencing stress due to their weight and the latter because of their height, the survey said.

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