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홈 Introduction Education System Primary Education

Primary Education

Primary education in Korea is free and compulsory providing the general rudimentary education necessary in life. Enrollment rate at primary schools is as high as 99.9%. The quantitative expansion of primary education is due to the high public zeal for education and the educational policies of the government. The sudden increase in the number of students and the migration of the rural population into cities has prompted the government to create an education tax in 1982 to finance the expansion and modernization of physical facilities and to improve the socio-economic status of teachers. As a result, the number of students per class dropped to 34.8 in 1990. Overcrowded schools have been divided into smaller ones and the double shift system of classes has been terminated. The government will continue to strive to improve primary education. With the revision of the regulation that prohibited children under six from entering primary school, even five year olds who are thought to have the ability became eligible to enter school if there is space. In addition, to expand foreign language education, English has been taught as a part of the regular curriculum starting in 1997, one hour per week for third and fourth graders, two hours per week for fifth and sixth grade students.

National Basic Curriculum

Time Assignment for Each Subject

National Basic Curriculum
School Year Primary School Middle School High School
Subject 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Curri
culum

Korean
language
arts

Korean
language
arts
210

Mathe
matics
120

Ethics
60

Wise Living
90

Pleasant
Living
180

We are
1st Grade
80

Korean
language
arts
238

Mathe
matics
136

Ethics
68

Wise
Living
102

Pleasant
Living
204

238

204

204

204

170

136

136

136

Selected
Subject

Ethics

34

34

34

34

68

68

34

34

Social
Studies

102

102

102

102

102

102

136

170
(Korean
History
68)

Mathe
matics

136

136

136

136

136

136

102

136

Science

102

120

102

102

102

136

136

102

Practical
Course

-

-

68

68

Technical education/Home
economics

68

102

102

102

Physical
Education

102

102

102

102

102

102

68

68

Music

68

68

68

68

68

34

34

34

Arts

68

68

68

68

34

34

68

34

Foreign
Language
(English)

34

34

68

68

102

102

136

136

Independent
Activity

60

68

68

68

68

68

136

136

136

204

Special
Activity

30

34

34

68

68

68

68

68

68

68

8 units

Annual
Class Time

830

850

986

986

1,088

1,088

1,156

1,156

1,156

1,156

144 units

  • ¨c Number of class hours proposed above shows the minimum number of hours of 34 school weeks as the National Basic Education Period.
  • ¨e Number of hours for curriculum for the 1st grade, independent activities and special activities are based on a 30 week period. The number of hours for "We Are 1st Grade" is that for March only.
  • ¨e One class period for primary school, middle school and high school is 40 minutes, 45 minutes, and 50 minutes, respectively. The periods, however, may be adjusted depending on weather conditions, seasonal conditions, academic achievement level, and nature of learning.
  • ¨e The number of hours for special activity and annual class hours for 11th and 12th year are to be completed in two years