School, pressure & innovative education – Founders Valley (1/5) | DW Documentary

South Korea’s competitive, high-pressure education system has been blamed for the soaring suicide rate among young people. Can EdTech startups help bring about a change?

Within a few short decades, South Korea has evolved into a manufacturing powerhouse that has virtually eradicated poverty, malnutrition and illiteracy. The Asian country is famed for its strong education system, and educational success there is closely tied to socioeconomic status. While Western countries applaud South Korea’s academic achievements, the deeper reality reveals a system ruled by intense competition and an obsession with grades. Studying hard to be the best is profoundly ingrained in the Korean psyche. The pressure to perform hits Koreans at an early age, and later it’s very common for students to have 16-hour school days. For many, school is practically the only social outlet. German entrepreneur Sonja Jost travels to South Korea to find out which EdTech startups are shaking up Korea’s exhausted education system. The Founders’ Valley host visits online cram schools, meets up with an EdTech founder who provides real-time educational content by using virtual and augmented reality technology, and checks out an AI startup. If robots eventually come to dominate daily life, will machine learning replace human learning? And how would that transform a society whose culture is based on hard work, diligence and educational success?

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