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Summary of Korean Data in the 2009 OECD Education at a Glance

October 8, 2009

This press release by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology came out a month ago, however it’s a good read and I have highlighted a couple of points for you interest:

To what level have adults studied?

The percentage of the Korean population with tertiary education has grown at a  yearly average of 6.4 percent between 1998 and 2006, higher than the OECD average of 4.5 percent.  When excluding the natural population growth factor, Korea’s annual average growth in the population with tertiary education is 4.9 percent, placing the country in the second rank after Italia(5.2%).

How many students finish secondary education and access tertiary education?

Among Korean adults aged 25~34, 97 percent completed secondary education, the highest rate among OECD members surveyed.  The entry rate to vocationally oriented tertiary education(type B) is 50 percent, the top in the world.  The entry rate to university-level tertiary education(type A) is 61 percent, higher than the OECD average of 56 percent.  The entry rate to advanced research programs is 2.2 percent, falling lower than the OECD average of 2.8 percent.

What is the profile of 15-year-old top performers in science?

Among Korean 15-year-old students who achieved performance level 4 in the 2006 PISAsurvey’s science domain, the economic, social and cultural status(ESCS) is 0.17.  The ESCS of top performers(levels 5 and 6) is 0.43.  Both rest lower than the OECD average, indicating that a socio economically disadvantaged background proves to be no significant barrier to achieving excellence in science.

What proportion of national wealth is spent on education?

Korea’s expenditure on public education as a percentage of GDP is 7.3 percent(4.5% share by government and 2.9 % share by the private sector), higher than the OECD average of 5.8 percent.  Compared to a year earlier, the ratio grew by 0.1 percentage point, of which government expenditure increased by 0.2 percentage point.

Who participates in education?

By age cohort, the educational enrollment rate is 86.8 percent and 27.8 percent, respectively, for adults aged 15~19 and 20~29.  The rates are both higher than the OECD average.  The enrollment rate of other age groups is lower than the OECD average: 27.3 percent for age 4 and younger; 95.7 percent for ages 5~17; 2.1 percent for ages 30~39; and 0.5 percent for age 40 or older.

How much are teachers paid?

In all levels of primary and secondary education, at both public and private schools, salary levels exceed the OECD average for all starting teachers, teachers with at least 15 years of teaching experience, and top-of-the-scale salary receivers.  Among teachers with minimum 15 years of teaching experience, the salary ratio as of GDP per capita is 2.21 for primary school teachers and 2.20 for secondary teachers, the top of all OECD members.

What is the student-teacher ratio and how big are classes?

The ratio of students per teaching staff is 18.7 at pre-primary, 25.6 at primary, 20.5 at secondary, and 16.2 at the tertiary level.  Though higher than the OECD average at all education levels, the ratio shows a decrease compared to a year earlier.  The number of students per class is 31.0 at primary and 35.6 at secondary school.  The class size of primary schools showed the largest drop since 2000(36.5) among OECD members.

How much time do teachers spend teaching?

Korean teachers spend 37 weeks and 204 hours of instruction per year at all primary and secondary levels, both higher than the OECD average.  However, in terms of net teaching hours per year(755 hours at primary, 545 hours at middle, and 480 hours at high school), Korean teachers spend less time than the average OECD.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: The Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology)

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