Monday, July 4, 2011

Korean children among most unhappy in the world article

Korea has the largest suicide rate among students in the world, and students are under an incredible amount of pressure starting extremely young. I have first and second grade students staying up well past midnight to do homework, read books and practice instruments. Eunice, a first grade student of mine, falls asleep every day in class because her parents have her stay up SO late to study. She's 7!
For Korean parents their children ARE their retirement. If you tell a Korean adult about retirement they will look at you like you are a crazy person. I said to the two University professors that I tutor, "Yes, Josh and I save money every month so that when we are old and cannot work anymore we have money to buy things that we need like housing, food and medicine." The response was, "What about your children? They will take care of you!" While I appreciate the devotion that children have to their parents, I also think it fosters an environment where children, even young children, feel entirely responsible for the livelihood and well being of their entire families.
Many families will spend up to 50% of their family income on their child or children's eduction, so perhaps at the end of the day they realistically don't have money to set aside for retirement?!?! Either this way is an interesting article that really will get you thinking. 

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