September 12, 2012 09:50
The number of elementary school students in Korea has fallen below the 3-million mark for the first time, reflecting the country's chronically low birthrate and aging population.
The education ministry said on Tuesday that as of April 1, their number dropped by almost 6 percent on-year, falling to around half the level seen in 1980. This marks the 10th consecutive year that the number has fallen.
Meanwhile, taking the increased life expectancy into consideration, the government is planning to redefine the age at which people can be classified as senior citizens, up from the current 65 to 70, or possibly even 75, in order to tackle problems related to the graying population.
The new plan will allow the elderly to retire at a later age and new pension plans will also be drawn up to match the new system. More details will be announced next month.
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