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University Credit for Soldiers

Posted July. 20, 2005 03:14,   


Starting from the second half of next year, a “barracks university system” will be introduced in which soldiers can acquire university credits by attending online classes.

In addition, foreign language education will gradually be provided via satellite TV to all units by 2011, and a foreign language education system like operating language circles will be established.

The ministries of Education and Human Resources Development and Defense announced this plan to develop human resources in the military yesterday.

According to the policy, the Defense Ministry plans to revise the military service law so that soldiers can acquire as many as six credits per year by attending online classes of the universities they attended before joining the military starting from the second half of next year. The soldiers will have to pay for the classes themselves.

Also, the ministries are reviewing a plan in which a part of the education and training soldiers receive in the military will be acknowledged as university credits by their universities.

Along with the plan, the ministry decided to allocate 160 billion won in three stages by 2011 to establish the infrastructure for cyber foreign language education, including wired and wireless Internet.

An authority of the Defense Ministry said, “When this system is established, soldiers will be able to study various foreign languages via satellite TV and the Internet.”

The ministry also plans to assist soldiers through appointing foreign language instructors and guidance officers to each unit. By designating every Saturday morning as “self-development hours,” the Defense Ministry plans to satiate the soldiers’ desire to study and develop their abilities and let them concentrate on studying foreign languages or for qualifying examinations.

There is a worry, however, that the burdens of commanding officers and soldiers of advance bases may be added to by this because they are already busy with daily drills.

Some also voice worries that the “barracks university” could hinder the military mission of the armed forces, its original job, because a sense of incompatibility could arise between those who joined the military while attending university and those who did not.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com