'I welcome the plan if it reduces the cost of education'

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'I welcome the plan if it reduces the cost of education'

The government has announced a plan to adjust the school entrance age from six years old to five by 2025. 
When this plan is put in place, children aged five and six under the Korean aging system, which will cover children born in 2018 and 2019 at that time, will start school together in 2025. The Ministry of Education presented its target to narrow the educational gap among preschoolers by ensuring that children can be educated in public schools early, as the demand for daycare services and preschool education is increasing.

When the plan is implemented, the entrance age for universities is also expected to be lowered and the size of the working age population will increase.
However, parents, teachers and people in children’s education are strongly against the plan. They pointed out that given the nature of early childhood development, it is not desirable to reduce the entrance age to five. Many are also criticizing the fact that the ministry announced the plan without discussing with municipal education offices.
“Apparently, they didn’t even discuss the plan with local offices of education. I can’t understand why they are forcing a policy that does not account for public opinion.”

“For dual-income couples, sending children to school imposes more burdens compared to daycare facilities. The childcare gap will be wider.”
“We need the policy considering issues related to low fertility rates and the aging population.”
“I sent my five-year-old to school when I lived abroad. Everything was fine. I welcome the plan if it reduces the cost of private education.”  
“We need to implement the policy from the year when babies who will be born are entering schools. Changing everything in three years is too fast.”
“Before doing so, they should revise the education plan to make sure that it is adequate for younger children.”

BY KIM EUN-SONG, BY HAN HYE-RIM [han.hyerim1@joongang.co.kr]
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