18 March 2018
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • » 05/07/2012, 00.00


    Child loneliness, the price for economic growth

    Theresa Kim Hwa-young

    The reduction of the school week raises concerns. On Saturdays, many children do not eat because their parents are at work. Junk food becomes a major staple on the table, and students engage less in physical activity.

    Seoul (AsiaNews) - South Korea's economic and financial success is having a negative impact on the family. More and more South Koreans invest their energies almost exclusively on work and studies. A recent survey indicates that because of a reduction in the school week from six to five days, three pupils in ten still spend Saturdays alone because both of their parents work.

    In its survey of 1,523 fifth and sixth graders nationwide, the Korean Teachers' and Education Workers' Union (KTU) found that 27.9 per cent of students say, "I eat alone." Another 3.2 per cent answered, "I don't eat lunch." This suggests that around 110,000 of South Korea's 3.3 million elementary school students may be alone and not eating lunch on Saturdays.

    "This situation was predicted last year when a study showed that 30 per cent of students' parents worked on Saturdays," KTU spokesperson Son Chung-mo said. For this reason, "The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology needs to take action at once by having local service centres distribute lunches on Saturdays".

    Other research findings show that one in five middle school students does not eat breakfast at least five days out of the week.

    The worst results are in middle schools, where 18.3 per cent of students said they missed breakfast at least five days a week. The same answer was given by 11.7 per cent of elementary school students.

    Students were also found to eat more and more junk food and to be less physically active. Only 45.5 per cent of middle school students said they engaged in physical activity.

    This is a major problem for a country that is a rising industrial and technological powerhouse in Asia even when compared to China and India.

    South Korea's success in areas like cars and phones is thus undermining the family. The Church had warned against this danger, urging families to return to the values of sharing to go forward.


    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    See also

    25/08/2004 ASIA FABC -SOUTH KOREA
    A culture of life: a mission for both Church and family in Asia

    Bishops deplore the absence of delegates from China and join in spirit Chinese and North Korean Catholics.

    29/03/2007 SOUTH KOREA
    Abortion and embryo manipulation tools of economic progress causing society’s death, say bishops
    All of Korea’s bishops have signed and released a message in which they attack the South Korean government for promoting abortion and stem cell research in the name of economic progress. For them abortion and embryo manipulation destroy man’s dignity and sacredness, and are the cause for a declining birth rate and society’s perversion.

    28/07/2005 south korea
    Suicide rate of elderly soars in past two decades

    17/08/2007 SOUTH KOREA - NORTH KOREA
    Inter Korean summit, the Church urges “sincere” dialogue on economic issues
    The President of Caritas Korea expresses his “joy” at the imminent summit in Pyongyang: in order to reach peace the famine in the North needs to be resolved. Head of State Roh: at the centre of talks, the formation of a unified economic zone.

    29/09/2005 SOUTH KOREA
    Suicide fourth leading cause of death among South Koreans
    Suicide is on the rise among the 20- and 30-something.

    Editor's choices

    Syrian Trappist nuns say Western powers and factional media fuel war propaganda

    In a written appeal, the religious systematically take apart the version of the conflict touted by governments, NGOs and international news organizations. In Ghouta east, jihadists attack the capital and use civilians as human shields. The Syrian government and people have a duty to defend themselves from external attacks. The conflict alone has undermined the coexistence between Christians and Muslims in the country.

    Xinjiang, crosses, domes, statues destroyed: the new 'Sinicized' Cultural Revolution

    Bernardo Cervellera

    Crosses removed from the domes and the tympanum of Yining Church as well as external decorations and crosses, and the Way of the Cross within the church. The same happened at the churches of Manas and Hutubi. The Cross represents "a foreign religious infiltration ". Prayer services forbidden even in private houses under the threat of arrests and re-education. Children and young people forbidden to enter churches. Religious revival frightens the Party.


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSSRSS channel 


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®