[Letters] Korean students, studying machines?

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[Letters] Korean students, studying machines?

The news of Seoul high schools planning to eliminate physical education classes for seniors in high school is raising opinions from various people.

Education specialists, parents, students and teachers all have thoughts about the issue.

The article “Seoul high schools to eliminate P.E. classes,” from Dec. 4, said that about 60 percent of high schools in Seoul are planning to arrange physical education classes next year.

I believe that taking away the only method of leisure and health maintenance at school is not appropriate.

There was a recent UCC that caught attention of the nation called, “The day of a high school student.” It is a short video clip of 11 seconds that depicts a typical day of a high school student. Waking up, going to school, eating meals and studying was all that was included.

It showed that studying was the main purpose of life for students. There is no time for leisure because the goal of high school students in Korea is to get into a prestigious university.

Does the education system really have to take away the only time for students to run around and breathe in fresh air? P.E. class at school is the only time Korean high school seniors can actually stretch out and escape from their desks.

P.E. is not only important for the leisure of students, but more importantly for health. Obesity is already a problem among high school students.

Because students sit at their desks for most of the day, the calories that they intake just piles up as fat. That is why most high school girls say that the first thing they want to do after the entrance exam is to go on a diet.

However, the diet should actually start at school during P.E. class. According to research conducted in 2008 by Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health, teenagers are more likely to maintain an average body weight as young adults if they have physical education in school.

It also showed that girls tend to do less exercise when they graduate elementary school.

Even though the decision may have been made with good intentions to allow more time for the students to study, for a healthy and balanced body, eliminating P.E. is not a be good idea.

Korean high school students are often depicted as study machines. All they do is study 24/7. Everybody tells them it is their “job” to study.

I agree too that studying is important in the lives of high school students. Yet, pushing students more by taking away important classes is not a good motivation.

Therefore, P.E. classes should stay on high school students’ schedules.


Kim Da-yeon, Seongnam Foreign Language High School

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