Lessons from PISA for Korea

image of Lessons from PISA for Korea

The story of Korean education over the past 50 years is one of remarkable growth and achievement. Korea is one of the top performing countries in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey and among those with the highest proportion of young people who have completed upper secondary and tertiary education. Korea is continuously exploring ways to improve its education system and has dramatically increased government investment in education over the last decade. Nevertheless, further reforms are needed to spur and sustain improvements. Rapid globalisation and modernisation are also posing new and demanding challenges to equip young people of today and tomorrow with skills relevant to the 21st century.

The report Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education: Lessons from PISA for Korea aims at helping Korea to identify and address education policy challenges in an international perspective. To this end, it examines the Korean education system through the prism of PISA, considers recent policy developments and suggests specific policy options to foster improvements. The report also provides an in-depth analysis of the experience of other high-performing countries.

English Also available in: Korean

Supplementary Education in East Asia

This chapter looks into supplementary education, which is a notable feature of Korea and more generally of East Asia. It begins by defining and mapping out the participation in supplementary education as well as its main drivers. It also analyses the contribution of supplementary education to learning through additional inputs (e.g. time, materials) and different instruction methods and arrangements. The chapter argues that the impact of supplementary education on academic performance is still inconclusive, but that this form of education exacerbates socio-economic inequalities. It also provides evidence of its potential detrimental impact on student well-being and disrupt the normal functioning of schools. The chapter concludes by reviewing the main policy responses to supplementary education, which range from laissez-faire to implementing active policies limiting its extent or broadening access to supplementary education.


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