Korea: Education not worthy of Obama's praise
Wed, Dec 23, 2009
Korea Herald

President Lee Myung-bak yesterday called for more efforts to improve education as disputes are rising over elite high schools and university admission.

He also said he felt sorry to hear U.S. President Barack Obama praise Korea's educational system after their meeting last month.

"I felt sorry I am very dissatisfied (with our education)," Lee said during a policy report from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

"There have been many changes but the changes have yet to be stabilized, causing much concern for the people."

He stressed that the new university admission officer system should be firmly established with clear and fair standards for assessing the aptitude of university applicants.

Lee spoke about the conversation he and Obama had during a luncheon after their summit in Seoul on Nov. 19.

When Obama asked about the strength of Korean education, Lee said parents' strong aspirations had made it possible for Korean children to receive good education. As a result the nation was able to develop its economy and pull out of poverty, he told Obama.

Lee also told the U.S. leaders that all Koreans want to learn English and thousands of young Americans teach the language here.

Since the conversation, Obama has mentioned Korean parents' strong educational zeal on three official occasions.

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