Elementary, Middle School Students Not to Be Allowed to Study Overseas
Elementary and middle school students are still banned from studying abroad, as the government yesterday announced a liberalization plan applying only to middle school graduates and high school students.
Under the plan, those who finish middle school or attend high school will be free to go abroad for study from next month.
The Ministry of Education made public an amendment to the regulation governing overseas study for school children, adding that the new guidelines will be enforced in September, after getting approval from the meeting of Cabinet ministers.
The liberalization measure is in stark contrast with the ministry's earlier plan to allow all school children to study abroad, regardless of their age or scholastic background.
``We have decided to liberalize restrictions on overseas study on a step-by-step basis, because of fears about a sharp rise in the number of school children wanting to go abroad,'' said a ministry official.
He also pointed out that the gradual opening of overseas study was based on the public opinion that it is still too early to apply the entire liberalization to all school children.
The official said many scholars, teachers and parents believed that there would be negative effects from a full opening, because younger students will have difficulties leading independent lives abroad without parental care.
They also reportedly thought that it is more desirable for elementary and middle school students to finish their curriculum in Korea, rather than in foreign countries.
Currently, those having high school diplomas, or those having higher educational backgrounds, are free to go abroad for study. Middle school graduates can only study overseas if they graduate from schools specializing in art, music or sports. …