Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Economics Education in Korea Lacking

Once again I feel like Capt. Renault of Casablanca fame. I am shocked! Shocked! To find out the Bank of Korea finding that Economics education is poor in Korea. First the Bank of Korea are home to some its own dubious pronouncements, such blaming the recent trade deficit solely on tourism. Anyway the BOK says:

The survey of teachers found that about 72 percent of students have a ``low’’ level of understanding of general economics and economics classes at schools...

Private institutes have raised concerns over the anti-corporate sentiment of students. Korean classes sometimes say that the highest goal of companies is to return part of their profits to society rather than to seek profits...The economics classes in Korea are also viewed as having depicted the market economy in a negative light

For instance, a Korean high school textbook said that in a market economy, capitalists find it easier to accumulate wealth, while laborers become poorer, the research said.

The government has detected such erroneous elements in the nation’s economics education programs provided by elementary and secondary schools.

The Ministry of Finance and Economy said that it found 446 errors in the explanation of concepts or instances of anti-market sentiment in 114 elementary and secondary school economic textbooks last year.

All this comes as no shock, just look what quick search on news of the Korean Teachers and Educational Worker's Union can dig up on the past couple year:

July, 2006 - Teacher's Union teaching materials quoting at length from a North Korean Textbook

May 2006 - Pro or Con is irrelevant here, can anybody tell me why the teachers union thinks an actor is an expert lecturer on the FTA?

March 2006 - Opposing the FTA on the basis that opening the educational market, leading to more schools (meaning more places for students and possibly lower fees) would make education more restrictive

November 2005 - Making an APEC educational video which included animations of world leaders swearing and swiped at free trade agreements. The Korea Times "A cartoon character resembling President Roh says in the video, 'We should try to sell anything we have, such as water, medical services and education services, to other countries. Human rights and happiness is not what we’re concerned about. We just follow the main stream of advanced countries.’’ Yeah, thats what free trade is all about.

No wonder with economic intellectual giants such as these that Korea lacks in economic education. And this is only a sample of the Korea Teacher's Union's antics. If you look back on through you will find all sorts of loaded educational materials and such.


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