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Opinions of Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Columnist: Nana Boahen Jeffery

Comparison between the educational system of Korea and Ghana

Anyway, I have committed myself to research intensively and so do I wish we all do in order to be abreast of issues in and around the globe.

This, therefore, has made me call myself 'the erudite' and I wish am called by you so I respond

"Man Must Learn".

I have over the years monitored the performance of Ghanaian Children at pre-Tertiary level and they do not perform better generally according to WAEC results annually produced over the years.

We have always been beating and insulting children to learn but we fail to critically examine the problem and to also produce alternatives by studying the educational system of some advanced countries like Korea Republic (North and South).

The erroneous way of punishing children who fail their final exam reminds me of what Chinua Achebe wrote in his book " The Mad man", that "Is it difficult to cover a soup than to hit a dog?" Obviously NO.

This is the educational system of Korea where there is a saying that "Teachers are as high as God". Unlike in our country where teachers are treated anyhow, with some teachers teaching for years without salary hitting their account. We will then take the Korea System and link it to Ghana hence the title COMPARISON.

1. School Hours

KOREA. Do you know that in Korea Students spend 16hours in School? Meaning more than half a day will be spent in school.

Besides, students still feel happy and spend their hours without complaining simply because they know what they are up to.

The Average Korean student goes to school from 8:30 am or 9:00 am to 10 pm each day except the middle school (Adolescent level) who close by 4 pm and will still be going for an extra private tuition. Simply because they love to research and learn deeper than to rush and go home.

The Children are always ready to still learn after this 10 pm by attending a " hagwon" {private school classes) with the Aim of striving hard to pass for college.

Though they close at 10 pm, the teens leave school at midnight. This is the reason why in Korea dinner is served at School.

Ghana. In my country Ghana, public schools spend 6 to 7 hours in school and will still have some of the hours as 1st, 2nd and 3rd break. (Primary and JHS )

The Senior High students preparing to enter the colleges have less competition and they spend not more than 9 hours in school, constantly praying for school to close.

A survey I conducted within Sunyani, Ghana shows that at all level of Education, only 5%-10% of Ghanian students go for extra class after school.

This when is compared to the zeal with which students in Korea learn, I ask myself if our students in Ghana don't know the value of Education? This I will leave for my readers to answer. Besides as Korean parents strive to pay for "hagwon", are parents in Ghana careless?

We can keep on and on to ask questions in this our comparative study but at the end all are rhetorical.

But before moving on, let me ask you and myself this " Is the learning hours for Ghanaian students enough for them to acquire " Cognitive, Affective and Psychomotor skills?" , key aspects of education.

This I believe is the reason why Ghana's Education has been more of Theory and graduates end up seeking white Choler jobs (office work) with none interested in Vocational training since Pre-Tech in JHS is to learn on chalkboards. Example, I remember I learned how to Mix mortar (Cement and Sand) on chalkboard.

This is why the Government of Ghana ends up ordering chairs in Parliament from Asia( Government of 2012-2016) where students are to devote almost their day in school to go through theories and practicals.

Note: Ghanaian schools usually spend 5hours in Class on Fridays and use the rest of the hours for sports that no teacher usually monitor. Students ends up not participating.

2. Weekend School.


If you think that in Korea students don't go to school on Saturday then Think gain.

Koreans in school goes to school officially from Monday to Sarturday.

I think they believe learning is everything, which is everything indeed.

It was until recently in the year 2010 that the government of Korea gave 2 Saturdays per month off.


In Ghana we don't school on weekend and officially school starts from Monday to Friday.

Few schools organize classes on Saturday for their students . This has usually come with a whole lot of challenges since some parents goes to the extent of not allowing their children to go since it is unofficial.

One may say that schools can't be opened on Saturday because there are adventist, It is true but Its possible they can go to class on Sunday as the Non-Adventist rest on Sundays. Its possible if the government is ready to pay motivation to Teachers.

3. Teacher's Status


Like I have already said, teachers in Korea per my research are as high as God.

This is because Teachers are highly RESPECTED in Korea. Korea emphasizes on Education and schooling to the power of Hundred.

Teachers in Korea gets salary, benefits and allowances from their Overall working hours, holidays and Vacations respectively. These when put together is far better than regular office jobs.

They retire at age 65.


In Ghana, research by interview I Conducted by asking 50 children what they would like to do in future proves that Teaching in Ghana is unpleasant unlike other jobs like : Doctor, Nurse, Bank Manager, Lawyer that the children mentioned.

Also, some Colleagues I interviewed who are Student Teachers (from Berekum College of Education, University of Education, Winneba and University of Cape Coast all in Ghana) ,made it clear that they are studying Education because they had no better option.

It is not obscuring that, Teaching is not a better option because it comes with meager salary and almost no allowances.

Undoubtedly, Teachers play key role in Education and they are the pillar that holds Education as accepted by Koreans.

Hence if teachers aren't motivated enough, obviously it affects every aspect of the country being it Economical, Industrial and Health since the people in these sectors will be trained by less passionate and effective teachers like we have in Ghana.

I would not recommend to the Government of Ghana to go by the Korean system of Education but I believe they can learn something from it if not entirely all of it.

It is possible since President Akuffo Addo lead government has learned the Double Track System from other advanced countries .

This write up is meant for Korea ICE group and other Readers by the writer whom this remain his intellectual property or to be presented on his behalf in Korea or any other platforms by any other person after his permission has been sought.