The 31st Seoul Adult School Literature Event was held by the Accreditation of Elementary, Middle and High School Corporation Seoul City Council on October 24, 2019 at the Forest Stage of Seoul Children’s Grand Park. Approximately 3,000 students from elementary and secondary schools attended the event, including 12 schools in Seoul for adult learners (which have a total of over 7,000 students). The event’s main objective was to provide a more interesting and valuable learning experience to the students. As a culture festival, adult learners (who had an average age of 62 years) and teenage students shared their joyful experiences of continuing their education and the gaining a sense of comradery through sharing their stories. There were various events including a writing contest, drawing contest, and club performances from each school.
As the event began, awards were presented to the best teachers and outstanding students from each adult school. Then, club performances took place, which consisted of choir, line dance, and performances on the violin, saxophone, ocarina, and of pop songs. In this way, adult and teenage students became one by performing what they prepared for this event.
[Photo of Students Performing in the 2019 Seoul Adult School Literature Event;
After the award ceremony and club performances, students participated in writing and drawing contests under the topic “Hometown, Friendship, Cosmos, and Fall Foliage Trip”. Many of the adult learners who participated failed to complete secondary school due to the Korean War, a Confucian cultural background (which entails that opportunities for higher education should be given to males only), sexual discrimination, and social difficulties. Currently, they enroll in the two-year accredited high school program and study the same curricula as regular secondary schools.
Ms. Kim (64 years old, declined to give her full name), a student at Jin Hyung Junior High School, said, “I could not go to school due to poverty, and forgot my dream to become a writer. It was one of my deepest regrets. This writing competition was the first step to approach my dream. I want to study creative writing in high school and university so far as health permits.”
Another student, Ms. Lee (70 years old), said, “I had a talent for art when I was young: I wanted to become a painter. However, since I was a girl, my chance to go to school had been limited because of my brothers. I could not go to school and gave up my dream. However, after I enrolled in this school, I was so glad that I could learn art and finally fulfill my desire to learn.”
[Photo of Students Playing the Violin in the 2019 Seoul Adult School Literature Event;
The adult schools are accredited by the South Korean Ministry of Education and adhere to the Korean Lifelong Education Act, which is a law that was established to define how education systems and programs should be constructed and managed. Tens of thousands of adult students have graduated and are following their dreams in society or furthering their education at universities. Adult attendees recommended these schools to those who have not completed their learning; they said if there is anyone who is interested in this program, do not hesitate because of age, but just make the decision to visit the institute and grab the opportunity to start his/her second life.
Julia (Eunseo) Lee
Junior (Grade 11)
Chadwick International School
Julia (Eunseo) Lee email@example.com
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