Cramming Now Starts in Infancy

  • By Kim Sung-mo

    January 14, 2017 08:09

    For Korean children, cramming now starts in infancy as concerned parents try to give their kids the best start in life while decent jobs dwindle.

    Eight out of 10 Korean children aged five and at least three out of 10 aged two attend some form of private classes. The figures come from a straw poll by the Korea Institute of Child Care and Education of 704 parents of children under five and 537 parents of kids aged under two.

    It showed 83.6 percent and 35.5 percent send their kids to private education outside regular nursery or kindergarten. The figure includes online lessons and one-to-one tutoring in math, English or other subjects.

    Kids under two often start attending private crammers at the age of 22 months, 2.6 times a week for about 45 to 50 minutes. Five-year-olds have to endure 5.2 lessons a week at an average length per lesson of 50.1 minutes

    The most popular classes for two-year-olds are Korean (28.6 percent), sports (15.1 percent), art (14.5 percent), science (10.2 percent), math (7.9 percent) and English (7.7 percent). For five-year-olds, the most common lessons are Korean (24.5 percent), sports (19 percent), math (17.3 percent), art (11 percent), music (9.4 percent), English (5.5 percent) and science (5.1 percent).

    Kim Eun-young at the institute warned against the trend. "It's much more important for young children's development to spend time bonding with their parents by doing activities together instead of going to private classes," she said.

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