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South Korea

Mr. Seung-Ku Woo, Director of Division of Information Technology Policy, Ministry of Education & Human Resources Development, and Mr. Jung-Woo Cho, Research Fellow of the Korea Education & Research Information Service (KERIS) presented these highlights of the South Korean programme for ICT in education.

Almost all countries of the world are competitively making efforts to adapt education to the knowledge-based society, or information age. In Korea, the project for adapting education to the information age was started in July 1970 as a plan for computer education. In the early 90s, state level policy was outlined by the Framework Act for the promotion of ICT, and in July 1996, the Enforcement Plan for Adapting Education to the Information Age was formulated.

The general objectives in using ICT for education are to:

  • The specific tasks to adapt education for the information age are carried out in four levels:
  • In the elementary and secondary level;
  • In research and universities;
  • In educational administration; and
  • In life-long education.

ICT Use In Elementary And Secondary Schools

President Kim Dae Jung, in his New Year Message in the year 2000, proclaimed his goal to establish a Comprehensive Plan for ICT Use in Education by 2000.

Distribution of PCs to computer labs in elementary and secondary schools Efforts have been made to distribute PCs to computer labs, the foundation for ICT use in education. It also supports the increase of computer use in elementary school education and the emphasis on ICT use in the Seventh Educational Curriculum. A total of 431,981 units were distributed among more than 10,000 schools in the year 2000.

Distribution of PCs to teachers A goal of the Plan was to provide a PC for each teacher in elementary and secondary schools in the year 2000. A total of 340,854 units were distributed to teachers by the end-2000.

Distribution of equipment for the advancement of teaching facilities The main goal of the advancement of teaching facilities is to provide multimedia equipment to 200,000 classrooms (elementary, middle and high school). The equipment is classified as essential and optional. Essential equipment includes 586 or upper level CPU computers and one image device (which includes a projection TV, a monitor and an LCD projector, depending on the school level, grade and the number of students per school). Optional equipment comprises visual presenters, scanners and or digital cameras.

School LAN and Internet Access Use of the Internet is an indispensable part of ICT use in education and is promoted by the mandatory provision of LAN in the construction of all schools. LAN construction started in 1997 and was completed in 10,064 elementary and secondary schools by 2000. The school LANs help teachers and students use ICT and access the Internet.

Aside from those mentioned above, ICT indicators in South Korea include:

  • Percentage of schools connected to a network (currently 100%);
  • Budget source (currently 25% from the central government and 75% from the regional government);
  • Speed of network;
  • Accessibility to PC (includes number of students per PC which is currently at 1 PC: 8.13 students, number of teachers per PC/Notebook which is currently at 1:0.9); and
  • Accessibility to equipment.

The Ministry of Education prepared the Second Stage Comprehensive Plan for Developing ICT Use in Education to address new challenges by 2005. The Second Stage Comprehensive Plan promotes educational reform and human resources development. The vision includes:

1. The general teaching and learning environment will be enhanced by the upgraded ICT infrastructure. The use of ICT in classrooms will increase greatly, allowing students to use multimedia educational materials in the classroom. Student-PC ratios will drop to 1:5 and communication will become much faster. Students will access the Internet and retrieve information easily from the digital library. Teachers will get a wide variety of multimedia teaching-learning materials and guidelines from EDUNET.
2. Integrated Human Resources Information Network will be completed in 2005. The network will connect those who want to develop their skills for jobs, the institutions that provide educational and training services and the industries that need skilled manpower. This integrated network will create a database on job opportunities and current training services.
3. The quality of education administration will be greatly improved by the year 2003. The online network of the Nationwide Educational Administration Information System will be completed in 2002.