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Young people preparing for jobs called by numbers, not names in private institutes

Young people preparing for jobs called by numbers, not names in private institutes

Posted June. 21, 2017 08:32,   

Updated June. 21, 2017 08:48


"No. 3, can I borrow a white out?" Students stay in the class for 14 hours a day but they don't know the name of fellow students. This is a typical atmosphere in private institutes where people prepare for TOEIC exam as a way for employment. If they exchange names they will become closer to each other and can risk a decline in their TOEIC scores. Banning names in classes is teachers' advice to students. 
When men serve in mandatory military, they are called by numbers embedded in their helmets rather than by names and ranks while guerilla training. Prisoners in jail are also called by numbers. The Auschwitz Concentration Camp under the Naxi rule that slaughtered 4 million people engraved prisoners numbered as tattoos on bodies.

Soldiers are called by numbers in guerilla  training in military because lower ranked training assistants have to train higher ranking soldiers. In jail, prisoners are called by numbers not only for anonymity protection but also for an efficient control and management. However, calling people by numbers could mean a person's personality is not respected. Last year, members of the Democratic Party proposed a bill to ban students in schools from being called by numbers, which aimed to prevent infringing on the personal rights of students.

No one at the TOIEC private institute mentioned above has failed to violate the rule of not calling fellow students by names, apparently a sign of desperate desire to be hired. Students with a TOEIC score of around 400 have seen their scores rise to above 700 in just three months. In April this year, the youth unemployment rate in Korea was 11.2 percent, the fastest rise among 35 OECD member countries. The perceived jobless rate was 22.9 percent, which means that one among four to five young people are unemployed. It is a pity that Korean young people wholely devote their youth preparing for employment.

Jong-Dae Ha orionha@donga.com