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Rethinking education: Where elderly consolation begins

Regarding the Nov. 12 editorial “Dying alone,” it seems that the elderly desperately cope with scant resources to finance their later life. As highlighted in the article, by the time they are ready for retirement, the elderly have already spent sizable finances on their children’s upbringing ― that is, with little doubt, education and marriage. Although their children may luckily finance the traditionally high-cost Korean marriage once they establish a career, education is another pain.

In Korea, education, or tertiary education to be exact, defines a person’s character. It determines life after college and marriage, to some extent. Why Korea maintains such a bizarre social atmosphere is another discussion.

What matters is Korea still identifies a person by his tertiary education or status as graduating from a highly selective university, forcing parents to exhaust their savings for their children’s education. Before considering strengthening community networks the panacea as the editorial suggests, it is time to rethink the Korean education system.

By Choi Si-young

Choi Si-young is a senior in the College of Law of Yonsei University and editing adviser of Yonsei European Studies. ― Ed.