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Korean teens lack social skills: report

Koreans came last in an international youth survey in terms of social skills, a state research institute reported Sunday.

According to the National Youth Policy Institute, Korean teens on average ranked the lowest among 36 countries in terms of relationship orientation and social cooperation.

The results were based on an analysis of a survey by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement of some 14,600 second grade middle school students all over the world.

According to the NYPI, Korean youth scored last in both relationship orientation and social cooperation, which asked about issues regarding school and community group participation, immigrants and institutions.

However, Korean teens ranked second-highest in terms of conflict resolution, behind only Denmark.

According to the report, Thailand received the highest overall score, followed by Indonesia, Ireland and Guatemala.

“Cultural and socioeconomical interaction skills are needed for living harmoniously in a heterogeneous society and are especially necessary for today’s leading youth in a global and multicultural generation,” said Kim Ki-hun, a researcher at the NYPI.

“We need to address the fact that Korean youth only have high scores in pen and paper tests, but score extremely low in activities both foreign and domestic.”

Korean youth did, however, rank third in terms of their civic knowledge, behind only Finland and Denmark,

The International Civic and Citizenship Education Study by the IEA also found that Korean youth scored rather low in terms of trust in their educational system and the government.

A mere 20 percent of Korean youth trust the government, whereas an average of more than 60 percent of youth in other countries trusted theirs. Only 45 percent of Korean youths trust their education, compared to an overall 75 percent.

By Robert Lee (rjmlee@heraldcorp.com)
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