April 08, 2017 08:00
Dependence on private tuition from a young age causes children to lose the ability to study independently, so that they rely on outside help even at university, a study by the Korean Educational Development Institute warns.
Kil Hye-ji, a researcher at KEDI, studied English-language crammer experiences of 570 university students and found that 437 or 76.6 percent went to crammers, and 66.8 percent of them had private tuition at high school as well.
Among the rest who did not go to private crammers at university, however, only a handful had relied on outside help at high school.
One 28-year-old graduate of a prestigious university in Seoul started attending private crammers in eighth grade and continued until his senior year in high school. This reliance on help from tutors continued in college because he believed he would not be able to succeed on his own.
"Perhaps it was due to my dependence on crammers since childhood, but I tend to rely on outside help rather than on myself when it comes to my studies," he said.
Prof. Kim Dong-il at Seoul National University said in a report in 2011 that students who relied on private crammers in high school were 1.8 times more likely to keep needing it in college than those who did not.
They spent 25.7 percent more money a month on outside help than their peers who did not.
"Students who go to crammers in elementary, middle and high schools also think it's normal to turn to outside help to find jobs and learn necessary skills," Kim said. "It's really a form of addiction, and that's very unfortunate because once they graduate they're faced with countless challenges they need to tackle by themselves."
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