South Ko­rea grounds all pla­nes so stu­dents can fo­cus on col­le­ge exam

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

SOUTH KO­REA - South Ko­rea fell si­lent yes­ter­day with hea­vy trucks ban­ned and bu­si­nes­ses ope­ning la­te as mo­re than 600,000 stu­dents sat the an­nu­al col­le­ge en­tran­ce exam, which could de­fi­ne their fu­tu­re in the ul­tra-com­pe­ti­ti­ve coun­try.

Suc­cess in the exam – which teen­a­ge South Ko­reans spend ye­ars pre­pa­ring for – means a pla­ce in one of the eli­te col­le­ges seen as key to a fu­tu­re ca­reer and even mar­ria­ge pro­spects. To clear the roads for the 606,000 stu­dents to en­su­re they ar­ri­ve on ti­me, govern­ment of­fi­ces, ma­jor bu­si­nes­ses and even Se­oul’s stock mar­ket ope­ned at 10am, an hour la­ter than usu­al. Trans­port au­tho­ri­ties hal­ted all air­port lan­dings and ta­ke-offs for 30 mi­nu­tes in the af­ter­noon to coin­ci­de with the main lan­gu­a­ge lis­te­ning test. Work at ma­ny con­struc­ti­on si­tes was sus­pen­ded and lar­ge trucks we­re ban­ned from the roads near test ve­nues.

TV news chan­nels showed ner­vous-loo­king stu­dents wal­king in­to the test ve­nues af­ter tear­ful hugs with pa­rents, as hund­reds of youn­ger stu­dents chee­red on their se­ni­or class­ma­tes. With so much at sta­ke, thou­sands of pa­rents ha­ve flock­ed to tem­ples and chur­ches to pray, with monks and pas­tors hol­ding spe­ci­al ses­si­ons for stu­dents. The pres­su­re to sco­re well in the exam has been bla­med for teen­a­ge de­pres­si­on and sui­ci­de ra­tes that are among the hig­hest in the world.


Stu­dents sit the an­nu­al col­le­ge scho­las­tic abi­li­ty test at a high school in Se­oul, South Ko­rea.(Pho­to: Get­ty Ima­ges)

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