Middle schooler criticizes Korea’s “nasty” education experience

A Korean middle school student named Jason, who goes by the username of JasonIsKorean on YouTube, expresses his concerns and hatred in Korea’s expectation in the education sector. Jason starts off by saying, “Like many of us, and the people around the global know… The education here is nasty, terrifying and extremely competitive.”

In the introduction, Jason jumps into a role play with himself, one side portraying a human being trying to enter society and on the other side a robotic voice portraying Korea’s society.

Society’s first question is, “Are you good at studying?” This then leads into questions such as “Are you generic or average?” and without listening to the human’s answer, society just scans him and says, “Creativity level above average. Uniqueness above average. Dream job, not a doctor, not a lawyer, not a teacher. Welcome human, you will not fit in.

Dumbfounded, the human asks, “Ok, so what do I do now?”

Society replies,” You will study 18 hours a day until your college entrance exam. You will go to college and study more, but if you aren’t going to a good college do not expect your parents to love you.

This exchange ends the role play as Jason then leads viewers to the main focus of his video – a letter to Korea:

Dear Korea, You’re pretty impressive. You’ve come a long within such a short time… But you suck to be honest. The kids here are having a competitive, harsh childhood. You pretend it isn’t a problem or you’re just too dense to figure out that it is. Here is a report from a TV program about kids talking about their lives with their parents.

Jason goes on and uses the report as an example. The report talks about a fourth grade student who attends twelve different after school academies. Her name is Soo Hee and she stays up as late as 3AM to finish her homework and wakes up at 7:50AM to repeat the whole cycle again. All Soo Hee wishes for is to go on walks with her parents and be able to sleep eight to nine hours a night.

Jason points out that the fourth grader is forced to think that education is the only way to live life and the parents will not have to worry about her because she will be successful and smart. Jason shakes his head in disagreement saying, this plan will only work if the child actually enjoys learning and clearly the 11 year old girl is not interested in her academics. When she grows up and makes her own decisions, what if she decides not to study? Then what will she have left?

He quickly jumps into the dark subject of suicide, stating that this is an ongoing issue in Korea. Therefore, he ends the video with a plea for Korea to do something about this epidemic:

So I’m asking you, Korea, to give the unique people a chance to show off their special abilities in their own way. Not try to be someone else. Make laws against people like this. No 11 year old girl should be forced to sleep for only four hours. That’s child abuse! No questions asked…Be more active to try to solve this problem…So Korea, please do something.

Jason’s video has over 15,000 views and counting. Viewers around the world have left him various supportive and positive comments as well. Check out the video here: