Background of Program
High school students practice the theory of production and marketing in an economics class offered by the YWCA-Citi Success Program.
/ Courtesy of Citibank
Korean Students study very hard for most of the day, attending private lessons for language and music after regular school hours. From high school, most students spend all their time studying for the all-important college entrance examination to get into a good university. Even after graduating college, many workers continue to take language classes, study other interests, or pursue higher degrees.
Based on all of the above-mentioned summaries, existing the education system is not satisfying the high expectations of Koreans. Education, which only focuses on university entrance exams has side effects such as lack of diversity, missing creativity, disregarding each student's genuine talent and potential, teacher-oriented lectures not student-oriented ones and a lack of student's proactive participation. The most critical thing is that students don't have the opportunity to deal with economic, financial and environmental areas that are recently emerging as global issues.
To change this education system, all teachers' mindsets and teaching methods need to be altered. To solve these problems, Citibank and the National YWCA Korea launched practical and creative economic education for students called the YWCA-Citi Success Program in 2005. For three consecutive years, this program benefited a total of 444 teachers (102 teachers in 2005, 122 teachers in 2006 and 220 teachers in 2007).
The Citi Foundation has provided support finds of $1 million in the United States and five countries in Asia. For Korea, $513,000 has been provided to YWCA Korea since 2005. Citi Foundation will spend $213,000 for 2008.
Detailed Program Summary
The Success Program which is providing grants to teachers who want to develop creativity and student participating teaching methods can be the first step to make a difference. Through this Success Program, the teachers will be supported to study effective and creative ways to teach economics, while the students will get the chance to learn practical matters about the economy and their lives. The Success Program will provide an outstanding participatory education for both teachers and students.
As teachers utilize this program in their regular curriculum schedule, students can experience this student-oriented program in their school.
The Success Program focused on economic and environmental education, which the regular school curriculums rarely cover. These two topics are highly important and recognized as hot issues, though current education doesn't provide any systematized resources to teachers and students. Economic education aims to improve the understanding level of basic economic and personal finance management. Environmental education covers environment protection, pollution, recycling to improve personal habits and perspectives regarding the environment, and economic issues.
The Citi Success Program will offer teachers the opportunity to develop innovative teaching methods focusing on economic life education (economic and environmental education). Each teacher will receive a $500 micro-grant to implement creative teaching methods in their classes. After execution, teachers will submit their final reports. The best eight projects will be selected as examples of creative, innovative and effective teaching techniques.
The project results including teaching methods will be distributed to 3,000 related government officials, education experts and school teachers as resources for teaching methods development.
For the 2008 Success Program, a contest will be held for 220 teachers nationwide in public and alternative education to develop innovative teaching methods for economic life education. It will support teachers in elementary and secondary schools who desire to develop innovative teaching methods and models for education. Teachers with successful projects will be able to share their new teaching methods and models with educators.