In Korea, a child normally goes to elementary school when turning 6 (Korean age 8). However, starting from 2025, children might have to go to school a year earlier.
A serious controversy has emerged about the governmental determination to advance the elementary school entrance age to 5 years-old (Korean age 7), starting from 2025. The goal of this policy, according to the Ministry of Education, is to integrate education and care, reducing the burden on parents and ensuring the growth of children.
However, the policy is facing strong opposition. According to a survey of 131,70 people, including school faculties, students, and parents, 97.9% of the respondents didn’t agree with this policy. They worried about the developmental limitations of 5-year-olds, the pressure on early private education, and the tremendous stress children might get.
The group composed of education and civil society organizations is currently holding a relay rally in front of the presidential office in Yongsan.
As the controversy grew, the Ministry of Education announced that the policy will be decided through social discussion and public debate with open attitude.