For many centuries, Confucian doctrine has permeated
social structure and social life in Korea. Education and
higher studies have therefore had high status, but it has
been an opportunity for only a small elite.
In line with South Korea's economic development from the
late 1950s, the education system has evolved, and a long
education for all has become something that is prioritized
in the state budget as part of strengthening the nation's
competitiveness. Check topschoolsintheusa for test centers of ACT, SAT, and GRE as well high schools in the country of South Korea.
The nine-year compulsory, free schooling begins at the
age of six and includes a six-year elementary school and a
three-year high school. Prior to compulsory school, most
children go to preschool, private and fee-based. The
compulsory school places the greatest emphasis on Korean,
mathematics and science. English is a compulsory subject
from year three and can already be found in preschool. High
schools are fee-charged and usually private.
Until very recently, the teaching was focused on
memorizing factual knowledge. New curricula have now been
introduced to change documented problems of lack of
creativity and independent thinking. There are more than 200
colleges and universities in South Korea, and no other
country has an equal share of citizens graduating.
Internationally, the University of Korea is not very
successful. In a world ranking in 2011, only four
universities were among the top 200 in the world.
On May 22, 1991, President Roh hard-pressed accepted the
resignation of Prime Minister Roh Jai Bong. It had been
demanded by the student movement and moderate wing of Kim
Dae Jung's party after student Kang Kyung Dae died in police
hands, which had triggered another 6 self-ignitions. In
September 91, US President George Bush announced the
decision to withdraw the superpower's tactical nuclear
weapons from South Korea, and in November it was announced
that the retreat was being completed. The move met one of
the most important demands of the North Koreans to allow
inspection on their territory. In December of that year,
Seul and Pyongyang signed an "agreement on reconciliation,
non-aggression, exchange and cooperation", reducing the
tension between the two countries.
At the March 1992 parliamentary elections, the ruling
Liberal Democratic Party won 149 of Parliament's 299 seats -
one too few to get an absolute majority. It was followed by
the Democratic Party, which received 97 seats with 29.2% of
the vote. In third place, the new National Reunion Party
gained 17.4% and 31 seats. The Leftist People's Party got
1.5% of the vote, but no seats.
President Roh Tae Woo appointed Kim Young-Sam as his
successor. Kim got 41.4% of the vote in the presidential
election on December 18, 92. It was the first election in
the 30-year period in which the military controlled the
country, where it did not stand. This ratio stimulated
turnout, reaching 81.9%.
The election of Kim coincided with a weakening of the
opposition, which was reinforced in February 93 when the
leader of the United People's Party, Chung Ju-Yung, had to
resign after being accused of receiving illegal
contributions from a large group under election campaign.
The corruption scandals also affected the government. One
of President Kim's supporters, Choi Ki Son, admitted to
being scammed with public funds. Furthermore, the leader of
the largest Buddhist order in the country, Suh Eui Hyun, was
accused of receiving $ 10 million from a businessman. They
were to be handed over to President Kim. The allegations led
to clamor between the Buddhist monks, culminating in the
arrest of 134.
In 1995, the two ex-presidents Chun Doo Hwan (1979-1988)
and Roh Tae Woo (1988-1993) were arrested for their
participation in the coup d'etat, which brought Chun to
power in December 79. They were further charged with treason
and unlawful enrichment.. In June of that year, the
government party was beaten by local and provincial
elections - the first since 1961 not controlled by the
government. The collapse of the Sampoong department store in
Seul cost over 500 people their lives. It also brought new
corruption to light, when it became known that the local
authorities had approved the building of a 5th floor after
In April 96, the ruling party for the new Korea won 139
out of Parliament's 299 seats. The National Congress for a
New Politics won 79 and the United Liberal Democrats 50. In
December, Seul City Court sentenced former Secretary of
Defense Lee Yang-ho to 4 years in prison for receiving
bribery from Daewoo - the country's fourth-largest company.
Two days after being elected president, Kim Dae Jung in
December 97 approved the release of Chun Doo Hwan and Roh
Tae Woo, announcing at the same time the implementation of
an amnesty for political prisoners. The newly elected
president took office in March 98 and appointed Kim Jong Pil
as prime minister. The country was also plagued by the risk
of hyperinflation and rising unemployment as a result of the
stock market crisis in Southeast Asia.
Despite military meetings only a few weeks in advance,
representatives of the North and South met in Beijing to
discuss various issues, including financial assistance to
the North and the possibility of establishing representation
offices in each of the two countries' capitals.