Five-day school week
In a recent article entitled ``Don't dumb down Korean students,” David Thiessen writes that if the Korean government permits its students to only go to school for five days a week instead of its normal six, for some reasons all the students in Korea would all of a sudden be a little more stupid or god forbid more likely to commit some unforgivable sin.
All this because of an extra day of rest and honestly I find this a little insulting to all the Korean parents out there that work so hard to insure their children’s education and moral upbringing are as high as they are now.
Korea has every right to govern itself and chose its own path ― the last thing it needs is for narrow-minded foreigners to second-guess everything it does and start accusing it of becoming too westernized.
When really what is happening is ― Korea is adapting to its changing world. No longer does Korea have to drag itself out of the muck and devastation of two wars.
Likewise, the Korean people have overcome decades of economic hardship and struggles such as the East Asian financial crisis that occurred in late 1990’s (IMF bailout) and the recent global financial crisis that began just a few years ago in Wall Street and could be felt throughout the world within a matter of a few days.
Yet, a little over a year after this crisis Korea was well on its way to a level of recovery that many countries like America and Japan have still not reached, two years later.
No longer does Korea need to suffer through the hardship of working six or seven days a week, working 14 or more hours a day. No longer does it students need to burden themselves with the endless hours of studying in order to get into university so that it will hopefully expel them and their family out from a life of poverty.
Korea has come to point in its society where its people, including its students, understand that it is better for them to use their time more wisely in order to be more productive ― rather than stay at work or school endless hours waiting to go home.
Students don’t need to be in school in order to force them to study. If parent feels their child or even if the student believes he or she needs to study more than they have many options they can choose from in order to reinforce what they have previously learned during class.
These alternatives methods of study can range from self-study, either by themselves or in a small group, were the student can use many different resources such their school textbooks, the notes they have taken in class, supplementary books, and even the internet.
If this still isn’t enough and the student needs additional help their parents can still opt to either send their child to an afterschool program or a private academy; and while these two options may ultimately cost the parents a little more money ― they are clearly still a viable option.
I would like to add that it is important for parents to encourage their children to ask questions when they don’t understand something. As a qualified and professional teacher I am always happy when my students come to me and ask me questions about things they need clarification on.
Getting good grades and being morally and spiritually well-adjusted isn’t about being in school six days a week ― it is about using the limited time they have both intelligently and efficiently.
The writer is a social studies teacher at Lighthouse International School. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.