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Thursday, November 24, 2011

A growing "problem" in South Korea



Last night I came across a horrifying story and I felt like sharing it with you guys. Unfortunately, all the links to the story are in Korean so I'll relay it back to you as accurately as possible.

Introduction (for anyone who is interested)




The actual story
 A Korean student in his final year of high school was being pushed every single day to be the top of everything. No, his mom was not happy with him being the top student in his school and getting near-perfect scores that would have pleased any parents. He ranked 4000th place out of millions (which ranks him in the 98~99th percentile) of Korean students on a national test similar to the SAT's, which frankly is quite amazing. But as you might already guess, she still wasn't happy. He was beaten every day (sometimes for hours at a time) for not being the best of the best ever since he was a kid. His father left their family when he was little and he was left with his mom who pretty much asked for the near impossible.

He became so desperate to please his mom that he faked his national test results and told his mom he ranked 62nd place, not 4000th place. I'm guessing she still wasn't very happy because she got a baseball bat and a golf club and beat him for ten hours for not doing better. No, I am not exaggerating. She then decided to have a meeting with his teacher the following day about his ranking. Realizing that his mom would find out he lied about his results, he then murdered her and locked her body in a separate room for eight months. Nobody would have found out if his father had not made one of his yearly visits and discovered that one room was sealed with duct tape and a horrible stench was coming from it.

Now, I know murder is never justifiable. And I'm not saying what he did was in any way "right". But I can understand why he did it. I'm guessing that having to grow up without hearing one "good job" from his mom and constantly getting physically and verbally abused would have made him snap at one point. I say rest in peace to the poor woman, but I hope this serves as a message to all parents who treat their children like robots or slaves. There are so many stories like this everyday; Korean kids who run away or kill themselves out of stress, yet this seems to have no effect on other parents and competition becomes even more fierce. Education is extremely important in my opinion, but so is making sure your kid is loved and appreciated even if he or she gets an F in every subject. In the long run, grades and rankings are just stupid numbers, but your kids are real people who deserve love and praise. Many parents don't even see that until it's too late.

And with that, I say have a great day and hopefully more and more Korean parents realize how this intense, almost inhumane academic competition is gradually becoming detrimental to our society.

4 comments:

  1. Wow, that is truly horrifying on so many levels. There's wanting to be at the top and then there's just plain insanity.

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  2. this stress cannot be good at all.

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  3. Thats sooo messed up :S

    Whats the deal with Asian parenting, anyway? This is not the first time I hear a story like this.

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