A mother gets a headache whenever she comes back home after attending mothers’ regular meetings, the purpose of which is to get some information about private instruction. Her children keep her as busy as a professional manager. She surveys popular newly opened institutes called hagwon, makes a group “for private lessons,” chooses instructors and pushes her children to study.
When they are asked about their plans for the declining years of their lives, most are not saving for old age. They feel uneasy because they are not able to save money, so some mothers go to work to earn enough for extra instruction expense. Many husbands and wives argue about their children’s education. However, their children don’t care about their parents’ troubles.
The children regard it as the natural role of parents, because they are the kings or queens of the family, served by sacrificing parents from birth. Parents seem to allow their children’s complaining. Children don’t appreciate their parents because they are not happy with their support. Sometimes they act like robots controlled by mother’s orders. They don’t have time to talk with family, to play with their friends or to get sufficient sleep. They always hurry to learn something.
As for me, I also have anxiety about my daughter’s private education. There are moments that I want her to push to study a little bit more because I feel worried when I hear how many kinds of extra instruction her friends are taking. But I can calm down my selfish desire by looking at my exhausted daughter. I try to confirm that the most effective result of studying comes from self-studying with strong motivation.
Most parents don’t wait until their children ask them to help with their studying. They’re never satisfied. For example, many Korean goose daddies decide to sacrifice their lives by themselves, not by the children’s demands, in spite of the struggle with loneliness after they send their families to a foreign country.
These days, many ordinary families without sufficient finances are planning for their children to study abroad despite the huge cost. They probably need to squeeze their budget or even borrow the money. Are their precious sons and daughters going to thank their parents in the future? Will their parents be satisfied with their children later? I wonder how great their outcomes will be.
In addition to problems within families, there are many side effects with private education at school, which are usually from the studying burden. They learn the material they need in advance in hagwon before they learn it at school. Many math teachers in middle school become upset while they are teaching theorems or concepts. Some students don’t concentrate on the lesson because they are under a delusion that they already know everything. Actually, they can’t solve even the easy and basic problems when slightly changed. What is the investment of the money and time for private lessons for? Math teachers say the incomplete knowledge spoils the students’ ability to think.
In English class, there are several fluent students with native pronunciation gained in English speaking countries. However, sometimes teachers are upset when they are very quiet and never volunteer for the class because they don’t want to be victims of cynical teasing from their friends. The students high-leveled from private education tend to be bored during class.
Another big problem is about the students who have a kind of mental disease, some of who are extremely offensive and some who have abiosis without any interest in anything. Their attitude is usually caused by the pressure of studying and of too high expectations compared to their ability.
Koreans all know that economic growth is based on educating for the future generation. Korea doesn’t have enough natural resources, so we need to develop knowledge and skills. The government nowadays wants to increase autonomous high schools for competitive system to build up superior talents. But parents are not likely to reduce the private education.
We hope the government listens carefully to what the citizens say. For instance, English teachers need small classes according to students’ levels in order to achieve the aim for English-speaking class. Parents and teachers don’t want epoch-making policy, but just one step in the development of education policy.
Korean parents need to remember this truth: their investment in children who don’t have self-motivation might waste their money, their time and their energy. I’d like to advise parents to give their children a chance to choose what they want, and to wait until they are eager to study what they need. Also, I suggest they should ignore their neighbor’s private education, not public education.