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2017-11 14

[Special][Card News] Expressing Out Confidence in Korean

▲ Click to read the English article - Expressing Out Confidence in Korean

2017-11 13

[Special]Stepping into the Life of Claude Monet

With the daunting winter cold approaching a step closer, the weather for leisurely activities are now limited to days. If you are wondering what do with the few remaining days of reasonable weather, a good recommendation is a visit to the “Monet/ Drawing Light” exhibition at BonDavinci Museum. For those who have always wanted a “piece” of culture, but have not had the time or opportunity to pursue that interest, this is the perfect weather and timing to visit an art exhibit and learn about one of the most renowned artist of the Impressionist Era, Claude Monet. Introduction to Monet A photo of Oscar-Claude Monet (Photo courtesy of Imgur) Oscar-Claude Monet was born in France, into a family of second-generation Parisians. Despite his father’s desire for him to enter the family business, Monet was able to take his first step towards art with the support of his mother, who was a singer. However, there were severe obstacles in his pursuit, such as the death of his mother at the age of sixteen, and being drafted to the French-Algerian War. Although Monet’s father could have purchased his exemption from the draft, Monet’s refusal to quit painting led to his father’s inaction. Fortunately, he was able to leave the army in the middle of his service to enroll in an art school, where he met Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Frédéric Bazille and Alfred Sisley. The new approaches to art that they came up with, painting the effects of light on the landscape with broken color and quick brushstrokes, are now called Impressionism. One of Monet’s most famous work, Impression, Sunrise (Photo courtesy of WikiArt) The term “Impressionism” is originated from the title of Monet’s painting, Impression, Sunrise. The philosophy of this movement is defined as the expression of one’s perception of nature, characterized by a keen observation of light and unique brushstrokes. In practice, Monet had painted same scenes multiple times at an attempt to capture the changing of light and the passing of seasons. Monet/ Drawing Light: Part 2 Monet’s impressionism exhibit is an extension of the first exhibition. Supported by a wide range of popularity, the original “Monet/ Drawing Light” exhibition was re-opened in July with additional features. The key behind its’ popularity was the use of light; all of the artworks displayed in the exhibition are in the form of projected light, and who else would be more fitting for this manner of display than Monet? The painting style of the Impressionist maestro is directly related to capturing the change in light. By introducing the element of light and motion to the original paintings, this exhibition serves as an exemplary case of outstanding visualization. This unorthodox means of display is merely a stepping stone for the exhibit’s underlying goal to capture the essence of Monet’s art and life. Combined with delicate designs of interior structure, the beams allow the audience to literally step into a scene of Monet’s life and be consumed into the moment. Such reconstruction of two-dimensional art into three-dimensional spaces creates a mesmerizing mood throughout the duration of the exhibit A display of a scene in Monet’s life The display is divided into several chapters, each representing a crucial part of Monet’s life. Beginning with the invitation chapter that introduces the overall life story of Claude Monet, there is the “Giverny Pond: Flower Garden”, “Musee De Lorangerie: Water Lily”, “Painter: Garden of Fantasy”, and a chapter dedicated to Camille, the muse and love of his life. Each chapter is designed in a way that best captures the meaning that each place, scenery, and person has on Monet’s life. Aside from these chapters, there are collages of Monet’s art pieces in various captivating forms. Giverny Pond: Flower Garden Furthermore, there are a good number of photo booths between each displays. While some people find them as distractions from their exhibiting experience, the general opinions on the audience review page were praising it as an entertaining feature. However, the photo booths were generally well coordinated with the displays, and were more of an interactive platform as a part of the audience experience. At the end of the exhibit, there is a goods shop with art-related merchandises such as jigsaw puzzles, notebooks, post cards, and T-shirts. The goods were not limited to Monet, and also portrayed artworks of Vincent Van Gogh, Edvard Munch, Gustav Klimpt, and much more. A photo booth under the theme "Monet's dining room" Room for improvement Despite the admirable achievements of the exhibition designers and producers, a significant shortage of the exhibition comes from its’ management. To be blunt, there are a lot of children at the exhibit, and not enough supervision over them. It is an issue frequently raised by the visitors in the review section, and witnessed first-hand during the preparation of this article. Many parents opt to bring their children to enjoy the exhibition, as the interactive installations provide an exciting yet educational experience. The vicinity to the Children’s Grand Park also plays a big role in the large number of child visitors. It is agreeable that the exhibition is a great way to introduce toddlers to classical art in an entertaining fashion. However, this is done at the cost of other visitors’ satisfaction. Children’s screams were constantly heard throughout the exhibit, as well as banging of toys, running, and a child was even picking flowers from display installations. It was no wonder that a large number of reviewer comments were recommendations of the day and time for avoiding children. In addition to parent negligence, there were no staffs located in the exhibition to maintain order. As such, some steps are deemed necessary for the management to take in order to deal with this problem. Aside from the positioning of staff members, the directors could schedule particular days or hours when toddlers are not allowed to enter. Lee Chang-hyun Photos by Lee Chang-hyun

2017-11 06

[Special]Learn Painful History and Never Repeat It

National Museum of Korea is located at Ichon Station of subway line No. 4 where all citizens can access to cultural assets of Korea in a stone’s throw. However, does everyone know that the museum was not a native edifice in Ichon? It was originally located at the old building of Japanese Government General of Korea which was demolished by explosion due to President Kim Young-sam’s project to set the history right. The government believed that eradicating all the remnants of the Japanese colonization era is the best path, but is expunging the agony of the past really the solution to our generation’s responsibility? Building of Japanese Government General of Korea was demolished in 1995. (Photo courtesy of KBS) What they did may be forgiven, but can never be forgotten Negative heritage in definition means the cultural assets created or related to negative, humiliating, and disgraceful history. In Korea, negative heritage is often found as the vestige of the Japanese colonization era of 1910-1945. The main negative asset of the Japanese colonization era is the Japanese Government General of Korea. In order to symbolize the shade casted on Korea, the building was constructed in front of the heart of country- Gyeongbok palace. The Government General was notorious for its ruthless atrocity towards Korean civilians, habitually exploiting for unpaid services, torturing, and killing them. The Korean history books recall the number of South Koreans massacred during the Japanese colonization era is considered to be about an 8 million and the Japanese Government General of Korea is known to have contributed predominantly. In 1995, President Kim Young-sam had a clear reason to demolish the building- it was plainly obstructing the symbol palace of Korea. Preserving the carry-over from the tragic past even 50 years after the restoration of independence would be considered treachery for Korean ancestors of the era. Some may regard having the Japanese government general of Korea in the center of Seoul and even utilizing the building for important governmental matters such as the national museum or National Assembly to be patriotic. Japanese soldiers are forcing Koreans to labor without pay. (Photo courtesy of CNN) However, several people from the academic fields claim that the demolition was an impatient decision in that painful history is also supposed to be remembered. Also, the building of the Japanese Government General of Korea is one of the well-constructed structures in the modernization era which also has architectural importance. Learn the pain When you are painfully hurt, your body may heal the wound but your memory will carry the agony with it. Physical removal of heritages will not heal sorrow of Koreans caused by ruthless colonization by Japan. The negative assets should stay where they belong and show the painful history of Japanese colonization and remind the citizens of today to never forget the history. Instead of destructing the negative heritages, removing the national or governmental roles within the building should be executed. Also, I think the government should install museums or implement historical lessons at the negative heritages in order to deliver correct information and sincere emotions felt at the site. By looking at the remnants of Japanese colonization and feeling by heart the agony our ancestors went through, Korean citizens will be able to learn and understand the history earnestly. Especially, students will never relinquish their rights and responsibilities to remember the mournful history. This way, this and next generations will always commemorate the pain and try their best not to repeat it. Korean activists and intellectuals fought for independence movement. (Photo courtesy of Insight) Historians and philosophers Heinrich Heine and Friedrich Nietzche claim that historical reoccurrence is inevitable and will be repeated cyclically. However, I do not agree with the theory. If all citizens can remember and feel the torment of history through negative heritage, people will feel the responsibility to halt the agony recurrence. Kim Ju-hyun

2017-11 01

[Special][Saranghandae] Oasis Full of Information and Opportunities for Startup Nomads

“I fear someone in a garage who is devising something completely new.” This is what Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation answered when asked his competitive foe. It implies how crucial a new idea is to success. No matter how innovative the ideas are, however, making them into real businesses is not easy without any help. Hanyang University launched a global startup mentor group to support globalizing promising startup companies of HYU students. The opening ceremony took place on July 31st at Silicon Valley, and Global Start-Up Lab was open the day after the ceremony in San Jose, California. Support Younger Generation to Survive in Business Jungle Global startup mentor group was devised for students who need more systematic aid about globalizing their new companies. “HYU is one and only university that has well-managed systems and programs for incubating startup companies. Since Center for Global Entrepreneurship started off in 2009, Hanyang University has made remarkable progress expanding its area in education, funding and so on,” said Professor Yoo Hyun-oh, Director of the Center for Global Entrepreneurship. The mentor group consists of 30 HYU alumni as mentors who have had successful careers in Silicon Valley. The mentoring is planned to be conducted for a year and during its preparation mentors went through training for mentoring to give advice more effectively to mentees. This was why Global Startup Lab was necessary. It is going to be the space where the mentors have meetings for the program. Both undergraduates and graduates including international students who are willing to take part in the mentoring program as mentees can freely check the information about not only the program but also the mentors on global startup lounge website. Then one to one coaching begins through e-mails and video conversation after more specific matching. If the mentoring proceeds well and the mentees are expected to gain achievements, mentees can visit Global Startup Lab in San Jose. Depending on the outcome, other working places will be arranged as the mentoring continues. The main focus of this program is to guide students who run startup companies but those who are willing to map out their startups will also be welcomed. Also, further plans are in progress to make mentoring about global employment. Yoo said, “So-called stable jobs do not exist anymore. Getting a job and starting a business are not totally different things. You can get employed first and then start your own company later if you are prepared and know how to do so.” As this is the common career path that most of the mentors had, development of the program is positively expected. Find the Signs and Follow Your Heart It is unprecedented among national universities to make these efforts to help its students with founding startups. In addition to this mentoring program, more information is available by adding Hanyang Startup TalkTalk on KakaoTalk app. Various events or lectures that are useful for starting businesses are informed and users can also freely ask questions. Yoo put emphasis on efforts to get information by saying, “I wish more students could get informed using this system. Hanyang Startup TalkTalk has been promoted by supporters on campus and also banners can be easily found. Considering the time and money put into university life, students can never be more eager enough for productive information.” It is said that young generation is having the toughest time regarding employment. No matter how impressive resumés they have, the number of available jobs for them is unbelievably few. This situation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution made more and more people realize startup can bring a huge change. For HYU students who were not sure what kind of job they should have among the present ones, it might be a blessing in disguise in that they can create the jobs they want. Others who have had passion for making their own companies, it is such a great time to go for it with more support from their attending university. ▲ Professor Yoo Hyun-oh, Director of the Center for Global Entrepreneurship Do Not Be Afraid to Fail “There are more learning opportunities around than you actually think, especially for HYU students. Find out what you want to do with your life first. Stay alert and make the most of it. It is helpful to experience failures as soon as possible. When you are young, you can overcome obstacles faster. Do not be afraid to fail.” By Choi Mi-rae (Student Reporter)

2017-10 30

[Special]‘Petiquette’, Off the Leash

A dog is well known as man’s best friend throughout history. Korea is now a society with over 10 million people raising them. Dogs, with their bright and outgoing characteristics, following and caring for their owners, had a cute image to all citizens. However, and all of a sudden, this friend is now becoming an object of fear and avoidance for Korean citizens. The dark side of a man’s best friend An incident that occurred on the 30th of September caught the attention of Korean citizens. A French Bulldog bit the shin of the representative of Han-il-gwan, a famous Korean food restaurant. This dog was well-known for biting a lot of people in the neighborhood, and the owners did not keep the dog on a leash, let alone a muzzle. This incident happened when the victim and the dog came across each other in an elevator. After the dog bit the representative, she was transferred to a hospital, only to die within a few days due to septicemia, a disease that occurs when a person’s blood is poisoned by an infection in another part of the body. This caught even more attention when the owner of the dog turned out to be the family of Choi Si-won, a K-pop singer. A picture of Choi Si-won with his pet dog (Photo courtesy of Yonhap news) Since right after this incident, there is still an ongoing debate on the punishment that should be given. They are currently debating on whether they should euthanize the dog or not. Citizens have two contrasting views: that it should be euthanized since it killed a human, and another, asserting that it’s the fault of the owner who didn’t follow the basic etiquette of raising a fierce dog. This ongoing debate, however, isn’t the only problem originating from this incident. Now, as people hear various news on the injuries and deaths from dog attacks, they are starting to feel afraid of them, even when they simply pass by. Facing unfamiliar deaths such as from septicemia, people have started to appear with a ‘dog phobia’. Dog phobias were known to commonly occur among the people who were actually bitten by dogs. Now, however, people are starting to be afraid towards any dog passing by them, worrying about the danger they could cause. A lot of people are now suffering from dog phobia. (Photo courtesy of HubPages) A park without dogs Due to this dog phobia, both the people raising and not raising dogs are having trouble. There are no longer dogs running around freely in parks. An owner of a Shih Tzu explained their hardship, “I used to take my dog for a walk three times a week. Now I only take my dog out once or twice a week, only for around 30 minutes. I hold the leash as short as I can and try to avoid passing by children or the elderly.” In the same situation, people without dogs have the opposite thoughts. A non-dog-owner explained, “Now me and my family feel anxious even when the dogs are on a leash since we don’t know when the dog would run at us. Even when I spot a dog from a distance, I unconsciously grasp my children beside me.” 'Petiquette' between dog owners is needed. (Photo courtesy of Playbuzz) The Seoul Han River Operation Headquarters announced that 38,309 people were caught walking dogs without leashes. However, only 55 of these incidences were fined. This has showed the current consciousness of dog-owners in Korea. Researchers have pointed out that it’s not solely the problem of a lot of people raising dogs, but the fact is that there are no strict laws or education towards these dogs and their owners. Currently in England, the court's permission is needed to raise a fierce dog, and one can be sentenced up to 14 years in jail when the dog bites another person to death. Germany has a ‘Dog leash license’ in order to take the dog outdoors without a leash. Compared to these other countries, Korea’s petiquette (a compound word of ‘pet’ and ‘etiquette’) seems to be less emphasized. It’s not the actual dogs that make the accidents a problem. Kim Han-ju, the representative of Ecole de Chiens, a dog kindergarten, asserted, “Even with the upgrowing numbers of pet-owners, their consciousness on safety issues constantly conflicts with non-pet-owners. Until their consciousness is enhanced, various systems and laws should support the current status.” On Jung-yun

2017-10 23

[Special]The Fastest, Oldest, and Gravest!

What adjective can describe Korea the most fittingly? Perhaps, one can argue it would be the word fast. On the surface of Korean society, some clues are shown to account for this argument: fast delivery, fast internet speed, fast drivers and walkers, fast development of technology, and fast working speed. Korea is especially remarked for its incredible economic growth rate over the past four decades, becoming the only country to overturn its state from a beneficiary to a donor. However, unfortunately, the adjective does not only apply in positive aspects but also in a negative direction as well: Korean society is aging at a rapid pace! What’s going on? By 2060, 40.1 percent of Korean population will be 65 or older, thus becoming a post-aged society. (Photo courtesy of The Korean Herald) According to the census conducted in 2017, Korea’s population reached 51 million with the population growth rate of 0.5 percent and the birth rate of 0.83 percent—153rd and 220th in world comparison, respectively. In contrast to this strikingly low rate of population growth, the nation’s life expectancy seems to get higher, currently averaging to 82.4 years, due to technological development enhancing medical field. This is accompanied by low death rate, counting six deaths per every 1000 population. What do these data suggest? Korea is only getting older and there are no signs of population growth in the future. The significantly low birth-rate and the increasing life span play a big role in changing the demographic structure drastically, possibly bringing up the median age of Korean society from 41.2 to 52.6 in a couple of decades. Analysis based on statistics revealed that after the population peaking at 52 million in 2030, it will start to fall from then. More alarmingly, more than half of Koreans will be older than 52 in 2040 and people aged 65 or older will make up 40.1 percent of total population in 2060. Korea is evidently on the brink of transforming from the aging society to an aged society fast! The fence or the ambulance? So why is Korea having such problem? What is the root cause? In a word, all this situation could be blamed to the low birth-rate, which plays the biggest role in shaping the demography and in navigating the future of Korean society. Why do young generation so often refuse to get married and have children? In the past, when Korea was going through a big economic development, there seemed to be far broader range of opportunities for people to make a living because the competition was not as fierce as it is today, and the blue ocean was somehow greater. As Korea entered the phase of stable development, however, the quality of life has greatly increased, and people began competing for what is better and the best. The culprit for this phenomenon, I believe, is ambiguous. It is true that due to societal factors such as financial stability and promising occupation, people are either convinced or deterred to get marriage or have children. But is it really the fault of these factors that people are looking away from the possibility of marriage and reproduction? Frankly speaking, the real reason is because people are ambitious. In the past, just as much as there were opportunities for people to become successful, there were difficulties and risks in having numerous children and raising them but people still went through the hardship. Can this mean being not “rich enough” to have children is just an excuse to avoid the duty? In other words, other than societal factors such as unemployment and unstable income, a lot of people refuse to have children is because of their ambition. In this fierce society, people are full of goals and strive to achieve them as much as they can. Maintaining livelihood has become a difficult task today, thus people will not be favorable to any factor that could get on th way. Realistically speaking, the duty of taking care of children and raising them came to be regarded as one of those factors, due to a large amount of time and money required in doing so. Though it is not completely impossible to consider the option of having a family, people view it as something burdensome and try to avoid it for themselves. The society today have turned people into reality-oriented thinkers! This illustration connotes greed that is never satisfied. (Photo courtesy of Jeon Chae-yun

2017-10 17

[Special][Op-Ed] There is No Sacred Ground for National Tax Service

The Korean government has been trying to legislate the taxation of religious workers since 1968. However, due to various reasons, the legislation was dismissed several times. Now, after 50 years, the taxation for religious practitioners is waiting to be enforced starting next year. This specific article introduces the history of the legislation and current controversies, along with the expected results. Kim Dong-yun, the Finance Minister and the Minister of Strategy and Finance is visiting Jogyesa and meeting Reverend Jaseung to talk about a tax levy on religions workers. (Photo courtesy of Yonhap News) How has it been so far Taxing religious practitioners is not as surprising as some might think. Major countries such as the United States, Germany, Canada, and Japan have all been collecting tax money from religious workers. Even in Korea, some religions or a specific subgroup of a religion have been encouraging a voluntary tax payment. For example, monks in the Chogye Order (a branch of Buddhism) are paying income tax as a form of withholding tax, and priests and nuns in the Catholic church have been paying taxes since 1983. Not all protestant churches are against the taxation, too. Workers in the Full Gospel Incheon Church started paying taxes as early as 1983, and some others joined the wave. As mentioned above, many of the religious workers have been partially or fully bearing the tax duty despite the fact that there was no law enforcement. Therefore, the expected amount of increased tax is only 8 billion won, which is 0.01% of Korea’s 70 trillion won annual tax income. There have also been voices stating that because many of the religious practitioners do not make the minimal income, there is a high possibility of spending more than earning on subsidizing them. If a family does not own more than 140 million won and the annual salary is below 25 million in the case of a double income family, and 21 million for single income, the government provides EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) to the family up to 2.5 million won per year. If many of the religious workers’ incomes do not reach the minimum income as some have speculated, there is a plausibility of more tax money being spent. Kim is having a conversation with the president of the Confucian body Sungkyunkwan, Kim Young-geun regarding the legislation. (Photo courtesy of Asian Economy Daily) Opposite opinions Most of the opposing voices come from the conservative Protestant church unions, namely The Christian Council of Korea. Several religious associations are part of this council, and the council used to be the biggest protestant consultative body until PCK (The Presbyterian Church of Korea) left the council. The Council is currently standing against the legislation for two main reasons. First, they view the work of religious practitioners, not as labor, but as more of a spiritual volunteer service. Therefore, the ‘income’ they make is more of a gratitude payment that should not be applied with secular rules. Moreover, some believe that through the annual report of the priests’ salary, the government will be able to legitimize a tax audit against religious groups, which is an invasion of religious liberty. Although these assertions are winning a minority of support, these opinions have their own flaws that can be tackled with. Kim is having a conversation with priest Eum Ki-ho, head of the Christian Council of Korea. Photo courtesy of News1 Then why should we levy the burden? Some might ask, then why is the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, or the politicians trying to impose a tax on the religious workers? And the answer to that question is simply the principle of fair taxation. In the Korean Constitution, article 38, it says, “All citizens shall have the duty to pay taxes under the conditions as prescribed by the Act.” A principle should have no exceptions to become a social consensus. Especially when the constitution explicitly mentions that, “All citizens shall have the duty to pay taxes,” and religious workers should have no exception. Kim So-yun

2017-10 13

[Special]A Growing Need to Address the LGBT Society

Last month, a public letter was published on the Korean edition of Christian Today towards the celebrity Hong Seok-cheon, in the form of an editorial. Written by Joseph Joo, a pastor and an anti-homosexual activist, the letter expressed his concerns for Hong’s potential candidacy in the election for the district office of Yong-san gu. As the first Korean celebrity to come out as a homosexual, Hong is the most prominent gay celebrity in Korea, having overcome the sexually conservative tone of Korean society. Convinced that Hong’s acclaimed desire to tackle the problems of Yongsan-gu is a cover for his pursuit to secure gay rights, Joo wrote his letter to dissuade Hong from running for office. Yongsan-gu itself holds a symbolic meaning because of its ethnic and sexual diversity, largely due to the Itaewon area. In his letter, Joo insisted in a gentle yet adamant tone that Hong drop his pursuit for office and seek repentance. This incident drew large public attention, shedding light once again on the issue of sexual minorities in South Korea. The first Korean celebrity to come out as a homosexual (Photo courtesy of Money S News) Sexual minorities and political refugees On the issues of LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and, transsexuals), Korea lacks significant political dialogue. Rather than having positive or negative addressment on the various policies and issues concerning sexual minorities, there is not much spotlight shone at all. This neglect is gradually becoming a problem that even the international community is raising criticism. A critical area for the issue of sexual minorities in Korea is the military. According to article 92, clause 6 of the Korean military law, the court prohibits any military personnel from being involved in sodomy or related indecencies. This law is otherwise known as the “Anti-homosexual law”, which condemns homosexuals in the military. Considering that Korean men are mandatorily drafted to the army, this law, which has been in question of constitutional validity for nearly 20 years, provides a significant dilemma for homosexual men. There are two main options: either keeping homosexuality a secret for the duration of their military service, or to resist the draft for conscientious objection, which would lead to 2 years of incarceration. This dilemma eventually led some Korean men to seek for a political refuge. Countries such as France, Canada, and Australia have accepted Korean men as political refugees. The acceptance of these refugees itself is a significant international recognition of social incapability to address the issues of sexual diversity. In an article regarding this issue, the International Financial Times criticized that Korea is an “essentially conservative country that lags behind on social issues despite its rapid technological and economic development.” The Financial Times published an article this April on the military “scan” of gay personnel. (Photo courtesy of the Financial Times) Growing needs for addressment There are also severe problems in the education sector. Student education on sexual diversity is critical to prepare for the inevitable addressment of policies regarding sexual minorities in the future. As a result of exposure to western culture as well as books and films about sexual diversity, the number of Korean people coming out as LGBT is growing. The gay parade had taken root in Korea in recent years, and the rise of various LGBT interest groups indicates that this inevitable future will approach soon. However, the Ministry of Education fails to address the issue of sexual minorities and excludes the issue in public sexual education. In fact, the ministry canceled a specific training education for sexual education teachers last year on the basis that it had not been correspondent to the National level of school Sexual Education Standards. The underlying reason was that it included a section on sexual identity and the understanding of LGBTs. The National level of school Sexual Education Standards, introduced in 2015 by the Ministry of Education, has been under public criticism for its failure to provide proper education. Much of the guidance provided is impractical and is based on outdated notions of gender. In a more specific case, there is the Teenage 1388 Call Center. Operated by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family in cooperation with the Korea Youth Counseling & Welfare Institute, the Teenage 1388 Call Center was established to provide anonymous counseling to various problems for teenagers. The problem was that the counselors of the center have advised students that homosexuality was something to be “treated”, and that it was “wise to avoid having convictions of homosexuality until becoming an adult.” It was revealed that the education courses for the counselors did not have appropriate content on sexual minorities. Even in universities, hate groups against the LGBT community are growing in numbers. In 2016, a professor of a Korean university was publically criticized for damaging a banner installed by the university’s queer community. Furthermore, many universities considered “prestigious” have hate groups and SNS accounts dedicated to shaming sexual minorities. Despite problems across a variety of sectors, the issue of sexual minorities receives very little spotlight with insufficient political debates and representation. Even in presidential pledges and debates, these issues traditionally received little attention. Only with continued efforts of the LGBT community has the issue been introduced in this year’s presidential election debates, and even then, there was only one candidate who pledged a policy in favor of them. Although most candidates emphasized their commitment to gender equality, most of them openly expressed that they were against homosexuality. Although the means and results of political debates remain unclear, what is apparent is that the need to address this issue is growing, and will continue to grow. Lee Chang-hyun

2017-09 26

[Special][Card News] [Op-Ed] Right to Have Safe Periods

▲ Click to read the English article - [Op-Ed] Right to Have Safe Periods

2017-09 25

[Special][Op-ed] Sometimes, Too Much Is Poison

“I don’t want to go to an academy, but my parents force me to. How can a sleepless day full of studying be happy?” In South Korea, young students heading straight to private academies after school is a familiar sight, often caught on the street. Often times, elementary students, barely taller than a height of a meter, are spotted on a street with heavy backpacks. What emotion does this scenery convey to you? Despite the fact that South Korea provides a 12 year long public education, demand for private academies is rising annually. What caused Korea to cry with pain and is there any cure for this illness? Play by the rule like AlphaGo Facta, non verba. Here is the time schedule of a 17 year old me: OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) suggests a teenager to sleep at least eight to ten hours a day. However, eliminating the time for public school, private education, assignments, and personal studies from 24 hours of a day, only 6 hours remain on the table. Surprisingly, this is a common schedule of a South Korean student. What led Korea here? As a country lacking resources, land, and capital after the Korean War, South Korea was a rare, but successful case of democratization. Without anything to trade, human resources were the only resource to export. Arduous efforts to educate people continued, and the young generation of the mid 20th century left their motherland to earn foreign currency needed to develop their country. However, efforts became habit. Back in the days, chosen people with intelligence got the opportunity to receive advanced education provided by the penniless Korean government. In the process of the selection, students frequently took examinations and were lined up according to their grades. 60 years later, students today still get report cards with their ranking on them. According to the survey: 1,955 teenagers answered that the major reason for their stress was going to academies everyday, followed by grades, tiredness, and more. Competition intensified, and more exertion to outrun classmates festered over time. Private education helped individuals overtake one another, and both parents and students were strained if they were missing out on private institutes that their classmates were attending. The result was all students having the same timetables of a day, like AlphaGo, trying not to lag behind by each other. In order to line up all students by ranking, the yardstick of the CSAT (College Scholastic Ability Test) had to be objective, in other words--thoughtless. Memorizing well like robots became a primary strength in South Korean education. Private tutoring expanded students’ capacity to remember what they learned in their grade and prepare for upper grade level lessons. Can students be rescued from this robotic education? According to the data presented by the Ministry of Education, 18.6 trillion Won was spent annually on private tutoring, bringing about an individual spending of 240 thousand won on average. Considering the polarization of private education expenses, there was a ten times difference in the budget between the bottom 20 percent and top 20 percent of the income group. Believing that more tutoring in elementary school will lead to a better middle and high school that will eventually consolidate a rigid route to a prestigious university, the new trend of the private kindergarten arose. Little kids that barely know their mother tongue now learn a foreign language, in addition to math, science, and art. If nothing is done, this situation will get worse and this should not be the future of Korean students forever. Among various solutions that experts suggest, I do believe that two cures will work out, though time and effort will be material to gradually amend these problems. Alternation in the CSAT format The proportion of setting exam questions in the multiple-choice type should be reduced. Objective style exams are effective in grading and ranking the answers of students. However, it does not necessarily allow students to show their critical thinking process and opinions. In the era of the fourth Industrial Revolution, memorization and multiple-choice are the not the tasks of humans anymore. Students should be given the opportunities to think and forge their ideas and realize them. Thus, increasing the subjective examinations will mark the starting point of both reduction in private education and magnification of creativity. Improvements in the non-academic sector Despite the efforts to increase creativity in students utilizing subjective tests, the South Korean education system may not change. Perhaps, academies such as ‘idea generation’ or ‘creativity augmentation’ may proliferate. What Korea needs to know is that academic intelligence is not the only way individuals can become successful. Taking the non-academic road should also be regarded as a great career option. In the case of Germany, industry, technical, and art schools are all equally treated and managed as academic schools. Figuratively speaking, technicians and professors have few difference in pay and honor. Freedom of choice in occupation and school are then automatically provided for German students. South Korea will become a more blissful country if such a policy and cognition change could be adopted. Picture of South Korean students finishing their assignments given from school and academy (Photo courtesy of Teen On Generation) Kim Ju-hyun