Posted : 2012-11-28 19:11
Updated : 2012-11-28 19:11

Korea ranks second on global education index

By Yun Suh-young

South Korea ranked second in global ranking out of 50 countries surveyed by Pearson Education on a new global education index called the Learning Curve.

But, the country remains notorious for the amount spent on higher education, a fact that weighs heavily on parents.

The Learning Curve is a new global study published by Pearson and carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) that helps identify the key factors which drive improved educational outcomes. The report includes the new Global Index of Cognitive Skills and Educational Attainment as well as data on literacy and school and university graduation rates between 2006 and 2010.

Finland topped the list with the best education system followed by Korea, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.

The United Kingdom ranked sixth on the list followed by the Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland and Canada. The United States, Germany and France were in the middle-ranking group and the emerging economies of Mexico, Brazil and Indonesia were placed lowest on the index.

The study was based on educational input such as governmental spending on education, teacher's salaries and degree of school choice, and education outcomes such as graduation rates from schools and universities.

On the educational attainment category based on literacy and graduation rates, Korea topped the list followed by the UK, Finland, Poland and Ireland, the report showed.

The report said the high ranking countries had "high-quality teachers, value accountability and a moral mission that underlies education efforts." It concluded that a culture supportive of learning was important in successful education systems as well as spending.

In fact, Korea's spending on education is embarrassingly high among the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries.

On the OECD's 2012 index published in September this year, the public education spending in Korea per student ranked second out of the 34 member countries and eight non-member countries surveyed. Out of Korea's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 8 percent was spent on education.

The education spending for higher education has increased by 1.52 times over the past decade which was the second biggest increase rate from among the OECD countries.

The private burden of individuals was also high in Korea with the individual burden rate standing at 3.1 percent, three times that of the OECD average of 0.9 percent.

관련 한글 기사

한국 교육시스템 세계 2위… 과도한 교육비는 문제

한국이 주요 40개국을 대상으로 한 교육시스템 평가에서 2위를 차지했다.27일(현지시간) 영국의 교육전문 그룹 피어슨은 서구 선진국을 포함한 40개 국가를 대상으로 국가별 교육시스템 경쟁력 평가 결과를 발표했다.

이에 따르면 한국은 종합평점 1.23점을 받아 핀란드(1.26)에 이어 2위를 기록했다. 이어 홍콩(0.90), 일본(0.89), 싱가포르(0.84)가 나란히 3~5위에 올라 아시아 국가의 선전이 두드러졌다.

이 밖에 영국(0.6), 네덜란드(0.59), 뉴질랜드(0.56), 스위스(0.55), 캐나다(0.54)가 10위권에 이름을 올렸다. 반면 멕시코, 브라질, 인도네시아는 최하위 그룹(38~40위)에 랭크됐다.

피어슨은 2006~2010년에 치러진 국제 학력시험 결과와 대학 졸업률 등을 평가 기준으로 삼았다고 밝혔다.

마이클 바버 피어슨 교육담당고문은 영국 BBC 방송과의 인터뷰에서 '상위권 국가들은 대부분 교사의 사회적 지위가 높고, 문화적으로 교육열 또한 높았다'고 말했다.

그러나 이를 보도한 일부 외신은 한국의 교육시스템에 대해 ''돈'이 없으면 설명되지 않는다'며 과도한 교육비 지출을 지적했다. 특히 '기러기 아빠'와 같은 사회현상을 예로 들어 '교육이라는 명목 아래 흩어져 살고 있는 가족들의 이야기를 흔히 접할 수 있다'고 꼬집었다.

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