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N. Korea shows slight signs of market economy in education

All News 14:00 June 13, 2016

SEJONG, June 13 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has been showing some signs of a rudimentary market economy in its education market as an increasing number of people pay for off-campus tutoring to have their children advance to higher schools, a report said Monday.

"We know that North Korea's education is based on equality and offered free of charge. But in reality, it appears in a different way," said the report by state-run think tank Korea Development Institute (KDI). "We can find some clues that the education market has been slightly marketized as private money wields influence on public education institutions."

North Korea's elementary, secondary and tertiary education focuses on the idolization of Kim's family as a way to control and maintain its regime.

According to the report, parents' wealth decides a child's educational path from the beginning to the end.

Children born in the purple will go to an expensive kindergarten with decent facilities and curriculum, which leads them to better middle and high schools and colleges in the end.

Such rich parents also give bribes to give their kids a chance to apply for a college entrance exam, as being a university student is regarded as being a member of the leading class in the reclusive country, the report noted.

"Parents are interested more in Korean and mathematics than in ideology education," said the KDI report. "Wealthy parents spend more money in off-campus studies for their kids and this results in an education gap among North Korean people."


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