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A math tutor proposed to reform Korean mathematics educational system for improved effectiveness and equality

2023.01.29 14:29:00 Min June You

[Interview with Wyatt Bang, Photo Credit: Min June You]

Mr. Wyatt Bhang, an astronomy major at the ROK Air Force Academy with 15 years of experience in teaching mathematics, said that there should be a reform in the way mathematics is placed into the Korean education curriculum.

He commented on the fact that the mathematics curriculum at Korea suddenly gets harder at one point, making it difficult for students to catch up without extra private tutoring. 

At first, Mr. Bhang explained that to most students in Korea, mathematics may feel like a distant subject with no correlation to real life  which leads to lack of motivation.

“Korean math has a lot of depth in it, and the amount is tremendous, so that students might have a hard time coping with it. Even professors have a hard time solving high-school level math,” Mr. Bhang said.

But why do students continue to pursue studying math? This is as a result of the fact that it is a crucial part in earning a college acceptance in Korea as Korean universities value mathematics highly.

However, the truth is that people will not study in-depth mathematics as adults unless they enter a math-related career.

Meanwhile, it is true that the world is going through a 4th industrial revolution, with rapid change and developments in technology, industries, and societal patterns, making mathematics more important as it will bring new jobs.

It is also true that all science, such as biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering, has its roots in mathematics.

Other subjects like sociology and business also utilize mathematics.

“Therefore, it is reasonable that those students who are going to major in mathematics or those subjects related to it, should learn mathematics the way it is done currently”, said Mr. Bhang

However, for students who plan on majoring in other subjects like Korean literature, which has no relation to math, there is no need for the current in-depth mathematics curriculums. 

Another issue that arises is the inequality in educational opportunities. 

Mathematics is valued heavily by universities, and unlike other subjects, requires extra attention.

Due to the vastness of the subject, it may cause unequal educational opportunities because of expensive private tutoring. 

Also, due to the sudden increased level of difficulty of mathematics in the Korean public education system, students will divert to private tutoring if they can afford the means to do so.

The solution to the problem is to educate mathematics like Korean literature, with no clear need for separate private education.

Min June You / Grade 9
CMIS Canada