Some 60,000 students drop out of school each year, according to a recent study, with high school students making up the largest portion mainly due to stress for college entrance preparation.
According to research by Prof. Kim Sung-ki of Hyupsung University based on records from the Korea Educational Development Institute, 61,910 students dropped out of school in 2009, accounting for 0.9 percent of students in the country.
Among elementary school students, 0.4 percent dropped out, while the ratio was 0.8 percent for junior high school students, 1.2 percent for general high school students and 3.7 percent for students of vocational high schools.
General high schools saw a steady growth in the ratio of dropouts, rising from 0.9 percent in 2006 to 1.2 percent in 2009.
"It seems that academic stress and addiction to Internet games are major reasons that a rising number of students are dropping out," Oh Seung-gul of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said. "We will come up with measures to deal with this problem."