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Is it true that education is pushing South Korean children to commit suicide? South Korea’s education system is regarded as a model by the rest of the world. Despite being a small country, South Korea’s economy expanded rapidly in the last 70 years, and it now ranks as the world’s 12th largest economy. However, South Korea has one of the world’s highest suicide rates, with academic pressure being the reason for suicide. Why is that?
In South Korea, academics is like life and death for the students. Their educational system focuses heavily on academic achievement above everything since education plays a vital factor in achieving social mobility, symbolic importance, and power. The average high school student in South Korea spends about 16 hours every day on school and school-related activities. These frequently leave them with just a few hours of sleep and spare time. They attend after-school programs called hagwons to help them prepare for the CSAT, also known as “Suneung”, to get into the top three prestigious universities in Korea: Seoul National University, Korea University, and Yonsei University. Most Korean students feel that getting into one of three universities is the best path to succeed in life. Furthermore, they believe that this is the best way to bring prestige to their families, adding a heavy responsibility on their shoulders by getting admission to these universities.
At the end of the semester in Korea, every student has obligated to take (CSAT). On this day, flights are canceled in order not to disturb during the hearing test. Police officers also assist students through traffic to help them get to the test centers. There is a lot of competition because this exam is so important. Some people cannot handle the tremendous burden and end up taking their own lives as a result. Thus, stress caused by grades or school admission is one of the major causes of teenage suicide. As a result, suicide leads to the cause of death among (10-19 years old), accounting for 30.9 percent of deaths in this demographic, according to Statistics Korea.
Although the South Korean government has decided to ease the college admissions examinations to combat the high suicide rates, none have been very effective. Since most of the trauma that student’s faces arise from their mothers, they drive students to the point where they feel compelled to get away from it all. Because of the tight competition, students are depressed due to academic stress, which leads to suicidal ideation and suicide attempts.
In conclusion, academic pressure and uncertainty over school grades and college enrollment account for a large proportion of these suicides. When preparing for the CSAT, the national test that decides their futures, students experience a great deal of stress. This tension, along with worries about prestigious colleges’ excessive selectiveness, leads to South Korean teens taking their own lives as a way of escaping. Suicide among adolescents in South Korea is a serious concern that must be solved.
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