1) Korean teens less happy than Chinese, Japanese
71.2 percent of surveyed young Koreans said they are happy, lower than the 92.3 percent of Chinese contentment and 75.5 percent of Japanese gladness.Korean teens also showed the least contentment with their free time, 67.5% being satisfied, presumably with amount and type of leisure time, compared to 78 percent of Chinese and 74.7 percent of Japanese respondents. While it is easy to blame this on lengthy and intensive study time, as the researcher does, it is worth remembering that Japanese students run a similar prep gauntlet.
The survey was conducted on 2,268 Korean middle and high school students, 1,167 Chinese and 1,144 Japanese students last October and November.
Of the Korean students who answered "yes" to the question, 20.8 percent said they were very happy, far lower than the ratio of Chinese students' 60.2 percent and still less than that of the 27.6 percent in Japan.
Check out this BBC report on South Korean education.
Koreans, at 48%, were sandwiched between Chinese (83.7%) and Japanese (23.9%) when asked if they will do anything for their country if it is in danger. Of course, the males will do their mandatory military service, so perhaps they feel it satisfies the requirement.
2) S. Korean teens' social skills among worst in world: report
No surprise there.
Each nation was assessed in the three areas of relationship promotion, social cooperation and conflict management through surveys of students' participation in local and school communities, their perceptions of community and foreigners, as well as democratic solutions to conflicts, the report said.Koreans scored well in the third component, Conflict Resolution, because of their ability to list off possible methods for democratic resolutions--not because of any demonstrated ability to resolve conflicts democratically. The article continues:
South Korean teens scored the lowest among the 36 nations with scores of zero in the two areas -- relationship promotion and social cooperation -- that valued highly voluntary participation in local and school communities.
Teenagers in Thailand had the best social skills with 0.69 points, while Indonesia (0.64), Ireland (0.60), Guatemala (0.59), Britain (0.53) and Chile (0.52) followed closely behind.
"Social interaction skills are linked to the ability to live harmoniously with culturally or socioeconomically different counterparts, so they are very important to teenagers who are the leading players in a globalized and multicultural age," the report [from NYPI] said.
"(We must) pay attention to the fact that Korean children scored well only in areas with a strong emphasis on written assessments and performed very poorly in areas related to internal and external activities. There is a need for measures to change the policy on developing knowledge toward nurturing independence," it added.