Students’ problems

Posted on: December 10, 2008

Article #1

Reading the article ‘Hagwon in U.S. cash in on Korean students’ was not new to me, because hagwons are all around. I would say nearly 100 percent of Korean students living in Seoul have recieved help of hagwon at least once. The fact that Korean students are having hard times with English writing and logical thinking is not surprising at all because I am one of the victim of ‘cramming style of education.’

I used to attend public Korean school before I transferred to an international school. In Korean school, we do essay writing only once or twice a year and the rest of the time everything is about memorization. Students do not think creatively and logically, but just absorb what the textbook says and that’s it with the education. When I came to an international school, which follows American curriculum, I suffered so much trying to learn how to think and write my own ideas in English, which I was not comfortable with. During the first two months of school, I lost 4 kilograms because of stress about writing essays in U.S. Literature class.

I can understand why Korean students attending universities in America are seeking for help in hagwons. Hagwons is part of school life in Korea; most of the students attend hagwons to recieve help. Since the students are used to getting help from hagwons instead of trying to find solutions by themselves, it is no wonder why Korean students are suffering in American universities where they have to think indepently and survive on their own. They are desperate to get help  so they are registering for ‘flushing’ hagwons even if the price is unreasonable high.

I have thought about this problem many times, and I think the only solution to this problems is to change Korean education system. Korean schools should start making the students think creatively and get them into habit of writing. The governent should discourage students attending hagwons because they only teach some smart tricks to put on the tests to let students get  high scores without knowing much. If the current education system continues, the drop rate of Korean students in American universities will keep on rising and more students will seek help in hagwons and spend extra money. I hope this ‘hagwon tradition’ comes to an end before it spreads too much.

Article #2

While reading the article ‘American teens lie, steal, cheat at ‘alarming’ rates: study’ I was shocked at the high percentages of students who violated moral standards. I have always thought that only very small number of bad kids steal from store. However, the statistics showed that around 30% of boys and 26% of girls have stolen something over the past year. This is simply shocking. Cheating was even worse, because more than 60% of students admitted that they have cheated on the test. It worries me that this serious problem with dishonesty of students will pass on to raise problems in the future. The article mentions that the attitude of students  “doesn’t bode well for the future when these youngsters become the next generation’s politicians and parents, cops and corporate executives, and journalists and generals.”

Even more shocking and ironic is that students attending religious school are more likely to have lied to their parents about something significant and to have cheated on tests. I think of religious school as strict and morally right, but the students are apparently not bearing these characters. The problems might be worse than illustrated on the article because according to the article , the students did not reply honestly in some of the survey questions. Once again, we can see that dishonesty is a habit that is ingrained in students’ daily lives.

It was contradictory of the students that they have high self-image when it comes to ethics. This means that students don’t realize that they conduct dishonest actions or that they do not consider cheating or lying as serious moral problems. Maybe they think those are just small actions which do not count as dishonesty. Considerting that 77% of students answered that “when it comes to doing what is right, I am better than most people I know,” the schools need to do something to make student realize how dishonest they are and the serious consequences that might follow from dishonesty. People often don’t realize their defects and try to over-estimate themselves, and students are no exception.


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  • Alice: Very insightful. I shall take your advice :]
  • Mr WordPress: Hi, this is a comment.To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts' comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.


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