May 10, 2013 by rkpcs
We are back on line and ready to update you with our last couple of days of activities and what we have learned. We are in the mountains visiting the provinces of Jindo and Haenam. Wednesday was spent on the island of Jindo, which is reached from the mainland by the first cable bridge built in South Korea. We spent the day exploring this lovely island, including the peaceful setting of the nationally famous Sochin Art and History Museum and the Korean Centre for Namdo Performing Arts. Thursday was spent in Haenam with the morning engaged in vocational visits, including a visit to the local police chief and local high school, and the afternoon exploring the emphasis upon a tourist opportunity which affects both Jeollanam-Do and Devon, dinosaur fossils. A large dinosaur museum has been opened on the coast of Haenam including dinosaur trials located in rocks that have been buried under the sea for centuries until the land was reclaimed.
We have found the Government focus on education opportunities, to retain and respect Korea and its culture, of particular interest over the last few days.
In rural areas there is a program that enables those living in the city to visit the farms and learn how to make kimchi, pick sweet potatoes and make beer, all traditional skills. This is great for transfer of knowledge and keeping the local traditions alive but also as a promotional tool for getting local products to be known and purchased outside of the area.
Another program is linking the The National Centre for Korean Namdo Performing Arts with Korean people no longer living in Korea. The Government here funds the accommodation, training and leisure time for Korean students wanting to learn the traditional dance at the academy for two weeks. The traditional fan dance is incredibly beautiful and the musical performances so skilful that we can well understand why the country puts funding and effort into observing them and spreading the knowledge of them throughout the world.
On a more traditional education note, the Koreans are passionate about the education of their children with lots of support and investment in this area. They have even gone so far as to build dormitories at some of the secondary schools so that children living out of town can stay on site. The normal school day is 9-5pm with additional optional classes after this. For those children aged 15 and over, these lessons last up until 11pm at night and homework will be given in addition to this. For those of you out there who are teachers, you would be expected to work the same hours!
Parents are also encouraged to support their children’s education and the library service goes as far as automatically emailing them the texts that the children will be studying each term. It has delivered an e-library service which at the moment is not well taken up because in order to do the additional studies the children spend hours in the library each evening. As many as 500 children visit Haenam library each afternoon.