Steep Sacrifices for a Chance to Attend a Better School

Choe Sang-Hun, Taste of Failure Fuels as Appetite for Success at South Korea’s Cram Schools, N.Y. Times, August 12, 2008.

Students at Jongro Yongin Campus in Yongin South Korea cram for exams to get into the University of their choice in a school with no distractions. Many students at these schools did not do well enough on their first exam to get into the schools they want to attend.  The year long school does not allow television, cell phones, fashion magazines nor internet while students are there. The students attend the school to focus only on preparing for their college entrance exams.  There is no socializing and many students study close to 18 hours a day.  A father drops his daughter off at the school and tells her “remember, fighting !” and she shakes her fist and yells “fighting!”  In addition to the goal of obtaining an education at a better school, the family honor rests on the type of school the child is able to attend.

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