S. Korea to open online classes for students to prevent COVID-19 infection

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : April 1, 2020, 16:12 | Updated : April 1, 2020, 16:12

Minister of Education Yoo Eun-hye [Yonhap Photo]

SEOUL -- South Korea has chosen to open online school classes using its advanced internet and mobile communication infrastructure to help students receive education during a school lockdown caused by a novel coronavirus epidemic.

The first semester normally opens after a spring break in early March. However, schools have postponed the opening of classes since February 23.

"An unprecedented situation continues throughout March when schools fail to open due to COVID-19," Education Minister Yoo Eun-hye said on Wednesday, adding South Korea should push ahead with remote education and open online schools progressively from April 9.

Yoo said the whole world is now paying attention to online schools as a solution for students. Some parents and teachers worry online classes may cause a lot of problems due to unfamiliarity and differences in accessibility to remote education technologies.

While admitting that remote classes will not be perfect at the beginning, Yoo said that problems can be overcome. She said that through gradual steps, South Korea can gain the momentum to become an innovative country in the global education technology (edutech) industry.

The education ministry said that online school classes will include various types of remote education including interactive discussions and online content-based classes. Smart devices and internet connection support would be provided for underprivileged students.

Using its super-fast internet connection, South Korea can easily adopt remote education and online classes. Many students watch educational TV broadcasts from their early school days as the annual university entrance exam is based on the content of state education TV programs.
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