5 March, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 08/21/2008
SOUTH KOREA
Violence and school failure drive young people to commit suicide
by Theresa Kim Hwa-young
Each month about 20 teenagers between 10 and 19 take their lives. High competitiveness and selectivity in university entrance exams are among the main causes. Teachers and experts complain the problem is not receiving the necessary attention and instead is too often swept under the carpet; they call on schools and educational institutions to adopt specific programmes geared towards young people.

Seoul (AsiaNews) – A highly competitive educational system, an extremely selective process for university entrance, violent hazing and bullying in schools and poor family relations are driving too many young South Koreans to take their lives. Indeed suicide remains a serious problem in South Korea and the second cause of mortality among teenagers.

About 20 teenagers kill themselves a month as frustration and anxiety are rising among young people. But countermeasures and follow-up steps taken by schools and welfare agencies are wanting.

In many cases, deaths are simply covered up by schools and local departments of education to keep the news from spreading to the outside world. Suicide prevention programmes in schools are a mere formality; counselling infrastructure is profoundly insufficient

Official figures about youth suicide are alarming. According to National Statistical Office data, 233 young people between the ages of 10 and 19 committed suicide in 2006. Every year, more than 200 teens kill themselves—264 in 2000, 297 in 2003 and 279 in 2005.

Hanyang University College of Medicine Professor An Dong-hyeon said teens require particular attention. Since they have yet to form their identities, they are insecure about a lot of things, and unlike adults, they often kill themselves fairly impulsively. Unlike adults who commit suicide after thinking it through, young people follow their emotions and state of mind.

School failure is among the top causes of youth suicide. In one case last December year, the nation was shocked when twin sisters jumped from an apartment building in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province, because they were upset about their university entrance exam scores.

Expectations by parents, who invest a lot in their children’s education, and students’ sense of duty towards their parents, which is typical in many Asian societies (like China and Japan) drive young people to a high level of competitiveness; in turn this becomes a huge source of stress and in cases of failure can lead ‘to extreme consequences.”

For experts when suicides do occur, schools should not keep the matter quiet, but rather take active measures aimed at other students.

One expert warned that if a friend commits suicide, teenagers at the height of their sensitivity can fall into depression or, more dramatically, attempt copy-cat suicides.

Making matters worse schools lack the means to cope with the issue, a problem often denounced by teachers. Growing violence inside the school system is another problem.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
04/07/2004 south korea
Suicide, poverty and desperation among children
by Pino Cazzaniga, PIME
07/28/2005 south korea
Suicide rate of elderly soars in past two decades
09/27/2006 SOUTH KOREA
Seoul set to eliminate TB by 2030
by Theresa Kim Hwa-young
05/04/2005 INDONESIA
Indonesia: tsunami, earthquake new school subjects
03/19/2011 KOREA - CHINA - JAPAN
Young South Koreans, children of the 90’s financial crisis, rich but unhappy
by Theresa Kim Hwa-young

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.