March 29, 2023 11:42
An all-boys high school in central Seoul turned co-ed this year for the first time in its 90-year history because there were not enough boys.
Last year, 121 boys enrolled at Jangchung High School, but this year it accepted 73 boys and 78 girls as the school resigned itself to demographic change.
The overall school-age population aged six to 17 has fallen from 6.58 million in 2013 to 5.31 million, and the ratio of baby boys to girls fell to 104.7:100, the lowest on record as Korean parents no longer prefer sons to daughters.
Some 90 single-sex high schools nationwide have turned co-ed since 2018, according to the Ministry of Education, but now they are spreading from rural areas to central Seoul.
One all-girls middle school in northwestern Seoul plans to close in 2027. The school, which has a 102-year history, said it began discussions with the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education to close down when only 71 new students enrolled last year. Intake has been below 100 since 2019. This year 93 new students entered, but the number is expected to fall below 50 in the coming years.
That would make the school the seventh in Seoul to close down due to a declining student population.
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