Extra! Korea

August 13, 2009

Speaking of stressed-out students, whatever happened to the “Korean madness” girls?

Filed under: education, humor, music, youth — extrakorea @ 2:49 pm

To no one’s surprise, young Koreans spend the most hours studying in the OECD.

According to the comparative study on the life patterns of children and adolescents commissioned by the National Youth Policy Institute, Koreans aged between 15 and 24 spent an average of seven hours and 50 minutes per day on studying at school, private crammers or at home as of 2003, nearly three hours longer per day than the OECD average of five hours.

I wonder what those hours would look like if we only looked at high school students. The amount of time that Korean university students spend studying is next to zip.

And here is concrete proof that quality is more important than quantity.

But while Korean students spent eight hours and 55 minutes per week on math alone, the country ranked second in the OECD’s Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) in 2003 with 542 points, after Finland which scored 544 points. Finnish students spend just four hours and 22 minutes per week on math.

Are the “mothers’ mafias” who terrorize hogwons (private institutes) into doing their bidding (by threatening to take their kids to another hogwon) listening? Probably not.

If ever asked to present visible evidence that stress is driving young Korean students crazy, I would present this video* as Exhibit A. I wonder what ever happened to those girls? The skinny girl is a comic genius. One of the major entertainment companies should have snatched her up, if they had any sense. Who cares if she doesn’t really have vocal talent? A lot of Korean “singers” who can’t sing.

* I could watch that video a million times, and still get a smile on my face on the millionth-and-first viewing.


  1. I’ve said many times that I would pay real money to watch those two live. I wish some good talent agent would track them down and sign them. Without the prerequisite “golf trips.”

    Comment by ZenKimchi — August 14, 2009 @ 5:00 am

    • See, I don’t get how a nation of people who love to spend their free time in noraebang produce such awful pop singers. I mean, none of these pop groups have anyone that can sing. Are they just the ones dumb enough to drop out of school to join the record company?

      Comment by Brian — August 16, 2009 @ 4:19 am

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