U.S. President Barack Obama Tuesday called for the United States to look to South Korea in adopting longer school days and after-school programs for American children to help them survive in an era of keen global competition, according to Yonhap News Agency.
"Our children -- listen to this -- our children spend over a month less in school than children in South Korea every year," Obama told a gathering at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce here. "That`s no way to prepare them for a 21st-century economy."
Obama made his remarks while emphasizing the need for sweeping reform of the U.S. education system for which he earmarked US$41 billion out of the $787 billion stimulus package to cope with the worst recession in decades.
"We can no longer afford an academic calendar designed for when America was a nation of farmers who needed their children at home plowing the land at the end of each day," he said. "That calendar may have once made sense, but today it puts us at a competitive disadvantage."