How far would the government go to ensure form-four students have an easy time when sitting for their final exams? Well, the South Korean government takes the final exams very seriously. In a country where passing the university entrance exam is taken very seriously, South Koreans have the full support of the government during this period.
The Korean Government went to what some may consider extreme measures. The government halted all planes flying to major airports and provided free transport for the students.
According to AFP reports, students who may have overslept had the military on stand-by to provide transport with a fleet of cars and motorcycles ensuring students reached the exam centers on time for their examinations.
The government even recommended that workers report one hour later than usual to work to clear traffic for students making their way to exam centres.
“Vehicles were banned from roads within 200 yards of test centers, and the majority of companies told their staff to come into work an hour late in order to keep the roads clear for the 650,000 students taking the tests,” stated the AFP report.
The government made deliberate attempts to ensure students were comfortable and remained focused during the examination period which is usually associated with high tension and stress.
Parents and students in most Asian countries view education as a major contributing factor of realizing success. According to a study by USA Today, “throughout much of Asia, education is seen as the only path to success. Parental demands, fear of failure, competition and pride are fueling Asia’s academic ascension.”
A 2010 UNESCO indicates 65 percent of 25-34 year old Koreans have attained tertiary education. In fact, the Korean education system is producing better graduates than the American system. According to Edudemic.com – when compared to the educational systems in other developed countries – the US came in at number 17.
However, the major drawback of the Korean education is the intense pressure students’ experience. The night prior to the exams, a boy aged 17 apparently jumped to his death from his family’s apartment. The Yonhap news agency quoted his parents as saying that he had develop into severely stressed in the run-up to the exams.