Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Benefits of International Schools In Korea?

In a letter to the editor of a daily newspaper, a Religious Sister, principal of a Catholic School in Incheon, expresses her opinion on international schools that are now opening in Korea. Songdo International City in Incheon has received permission to go ahead with its international school and accept Koreans as 30 percent of its student body.

This is well received by many since it will allow many families to send their children to these schools, have the benefits of study overseas, allow parents to be protective of their children and save money in the process. The results of the product of these schools will be for the future to make clear.

The Sister plainly states that, out of pride, it is difficult to accept that we are going to turn over the education of our children to foreigners. She doesn't know about the propriety of middle and high school education overseas, but in the earlier years, it seems to her problematic to have children educated by foreigners in a foreign language, in a foreign culture, with foreign values and done here in Korea.

At this time of life, children are preparing themselves for maturity. It is during this time that they find out who they are and, hopefully, developing a coherent and worthwhile value system that will build their character. It is not like Koreans living in the States and sending their children to American schools; these children are living in Korea and are taken out of their home environment to go to school.

Schools, of course, do not teach only language and the usual intellectual subjects but emotional health, culture, values, among other things. If this is globalization why teach only English? To deal with the problems that will likely arise, it is necessary that the Government becomes involved and not leave the solution solely in the hands of the different districts.

Sister sees education dependent on the whole of life. It is easy to look at one area of life and forget the others. Utilitarianism, for example, would see education mainly useful in getting a good job, making more money, having access to the right people. This may be important to achieve these limited goals but if one doesn't find the expected happiness and meaning in life, then danger lurks ahead. Knowledge is just one part of the educational process. We tend to isolate it from the other parts and think that it alone will bring success. We must not forget that education begins in the home; we are educated more by what we experience in the family, in reading, relating, and pondering over the mysteries of life than we are by our schools. If we are orientated to getting good marks, degrees and jobs, then our schools will likely fail us in guiding us to a more meaningful life.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing that a "Korean" catholic nun double speaks on culture when she too is influenced by foreign culture.

    Excuse me but is Catholicism native to Korea. Answer = NO WAY!