The government led by President Lee Myung Bak’s announced that it desires letting students off from school on Saturdays. The intention of this plan is to give South Korean children more time to play and have recreational time. Many mothers have other plans though. If the reform is put into practice, it is expected that private tutoring on Saturdays will increase.
Children have been going to class on Saturdays since the 1950’s. Currently class is in session on Saturdays for four hours two times a month. President Lee seeks reforms that give children more time and encourage households to consume more, while kicking them of their high valuation of standardized tests.
Chung Eunjung, a mother of two said in reference to the notion, “It would be a brave mother who let them play.” She currently spends an additional $1,700 a month on outside educational expenses. This mindset is held by many in South Korea, explaining why Eastern Asian nations rank in the top 5 in the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development’s assessment of math, reading, and science.