There is some rather long winded, but interesting read discussing why privatization is maybe not a good thing for Education (with a big E).

Part I and Part II

His basic idea is that privatization does not lead to a better education system and he uses Korea as a way to establish that idea.

The private education in Korea is, simply put, ineffective.  Given the huge expenses parents pay, the results are disappointing.

As a hagwon owner, and as someone who tries very hard to start a change, I think he is missing a piece of the puzzle.  Every time I read people lamenting about the educational system, it’s more often than not, the hagwons fault.  I am sorry, but you are wrong.

Hagwons deliver a service to the people, but it are the people that make the choices to go to a specific hagwon or not. The wallet talks.

The problem is that Koreans don’t KNOW what is good education, because the overall system does not support the education that the above mentionned blogger wants to see in existence.

Success, for the middle class, in Korea, means having a job at one of the major employers in Korea, preferably in a management position.  To get that job, you need to go to the top Universities, to get into the top Universities, you need to pass the test, to pass the test you need to go to the best high schools and the best hagwons, to get into the best high schools you need to go to the best middle schools and best hagwons, to get into the best middle schools you need to go to the best elementary schools and best hagwons, to get into the best elementary schools, you need to go to the best Kindergartens (who basically are operating as hagwons these days).  All you need for hagwons, is money.  This is the Korean model, and therefore not a good representation of the rest of the world. Privatization in Korea has failed mostly because of the system Koreans got stuck into.  Hagwons are not to blame, they just provide a service to parents who want the best for their kids.  Don’t blame the medicine, blame the disease.

In South Korea, the government is actually fighting AGAINST privatization, against the hagwons, which in turn makes it very difficult for hagwons to innovate.  They don’t innovate due to lack of incentive and profit driven demand, they don’t innovate because the government takes away the means for us to do so.

Added to that, the real discussion on education is much bigger than just bickering about WHO gets to do it.  Ultimately the difference between Public and Private is the difference between who pays for it, the taxpayer or the individual.  The real problem is that everyone feels that our current educational system does not prepare us for the future.


The video above makes a good point, albeit a bit too much of an MBA course with a lot of words and he keeps running around the point he is trying to make.

Degrees no longer suffice the requirements of our needs to do well in a business environment.

Innovation in education at this point is to turn around the concept of education and built the system around the student rather than forcing the student to fit inside the system.

I have created my school to fit this new model, but people don’t get it.  A few do, a few can see that I work on skills and passions, that I try to find out what it is the students want to do and teach them the skills to go there.  But parents are still looking at test scores, because they can understand test scores.  Test scores is one number that says it all.  I just wish human beings weren’t so complex, and we could all put a simple number on our faces that would dictate our value to society …… Not.  We need to step away from ranking people, comparing people, let the HR managers do that, not the teachers.

Let’s stop making our kids feel inadequate.