Friday, August 26, 2011

The unhappy children and the rise of Korea…

We became friends at bus stop. He was a Korean. We became friends because of my interests in Korea. Koreans are part of our extended family of Turko-mongols (The last stretch of mixed race of Central Asia). Korea is facing a historical competition from China and Japan so her people are used to live in a highly competitive environment and have developed a culture of competition. Most of our talks were around recent movie serials (Mostly showing how their historical heroes achieved their goals by their work ethics and dedication to their goals) that South Korea has produced and become very famous in our part of world like, “Jumong”, “The land of winds”, “Jewel in the Palace”, “The Emperor of Sea” and “The trader of Zhoushan (read as Chusan; It is a city island in Archipelago, part of Zhejiang Province in Eastern China)”….Watching these movie serials one can also understand the historical basis of current Korean conflict (between north and south)…………
It was Saturday (Weekend, just to remind you) and University had a summer festival. In rebellious souls of youth, we can see the lively life and of course one can see them unveiled on such days. To borrow some, I wanted to be part of festival and I was at bus stop around 2 pm to catch the bus to school. There, I found my Korean friend with his school bag. I became puzzled and told him, “It is Saturday!.. And there is a summer festival at University??”…. He calmly smiled, “I know,… I am going to library to study until evening”….
It was first time that I realized in true sense that my friend is a Korean. I think that Koreans have evolved to be hardworking people as it is part of their thousands of years’ old culture. Frankly, this encounter gave meaning to all those Korean historical movie serials that I have watched to have an insight into Korean society. Today’s Korea facing even tougher competition than ever from mighty China, Japan and Asian Tigers (Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia), so the Koreans have to work even harder than ever.
Historically, education was the only means of climbing social ladder in the Korea, The competitive exam for Civil Services was a mean to escape lower social classes so Korean parents were always ready to do anything to make sure their kids become highly educated. It is natural to see parents push their children to work harder in their education. Pakistanis (especially Professor Attaurahman) look to Korean rise because of their focus on education. Professor wishes Pakistanis to follow the role model (forgetting that it is not going to happen as Pakistan lack the historical culture that Koreans have. The cultural conflicts in Pakistan, is the biggest obstacle in the way of dreaming to rise as an educated nation).
Some think that Koreans have gone too far in the pushing their children for education. The students go to academies after school time and take extra tuition in English, Mathematics and musical instruments until 11 pm which is an hour after legal limits of 10 pm (The students are busy from 8:30 am to 11 pm at night and it makes some to claim that Korean parents want others to educate their children and this extra-education give them free time). The expenditure of education has forced parents to have lesser children and also youths to marry late. Korean society is ageing. The ultra-preparation and ultra-competitive environments have caused Korean children to become in social skills and also get depressed. The rate of suicide has increased especially among third year of high school students that prepare for University entrance examinations.
Though the ultra-preparations are costing on parents, giving kids hard times but it also making them to get to best Universities at US and other prestigious universities and make them able to get their share out of global job market and pay back to their parents in their old ages. It also pays the students themselves to have better lives. Of course every system has its own problems. Do at your liking type of education systems, of course, make students to explore their creativity but the creativity pay less if work ethics is not embedded in it. A stress on fun-centered education system and fun-centered life make students the victim of fun by making them, addicted to fun. Of course fun should be integrated in education system to make students enjoy their studies and their work but not at the cost of work ethics. At the end of the day, satisfaction comes from works that one have done. Fun for fun makes fun boring and leaves one at despair.
What I get from all these that one’s perspective changes, depending on his position. If one lives in part of world where there is less competition, having fun is no problem but living in a part of world where you have established competitors, the ultra-preparation is the only choice. I like the Korean case as it resembles to our case. Though in our part of world tuition outside of schools become necessary because of poor performances of schools and also it is an extra-burden on parent and give students harder times yet, this ultra-preparation is necessary to live in a suffocating environment where survival depends on your ultra-competitiveness. The ultra-preparation is the best answer to omnipresent discrimination and prejudices.

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Let's beat the drum!...!...!...!

Yeah, Let's beat the drum...In month of Ramadan, some people beat the drums going street to street to wake up the people in predawn time...I was always fascinated by their jobs; they wake up people from sleep in a time when they are in deep sleep... Socrates were thinking that most of us are in deep sleep like that of predawn time, so he was going from street to street in ancient Athens and cross-questioning people to show them that their lives are un-examined...When we do not analyse our beliefs and world views then it is like living in sleeping mode...The stronger the certainty in unexamined worldviews, the deeper is the sleep.......

As there is no Socrates to stop us on the streets to cross-question our worldviews, keeping diary is way to open yourself for your examination (it is famously known as self-accountability) here I have started beating the drums...let's see how much I am going to be committed to my diary :)