"If you desire to learn, you can overcome your fear of aging, so I encourage you to go for it."
This is what a student about to graduate from high school told a reporter from the Dong-A Ilbo on Thursday. You might ask, ‘Is high school graduation a big deal?’ But when you consider his life, the answer is yes. Kim Eun-seong (90), who stopped learning during the Korean War, has been traveling to school for about an hour and a half every day and is set to graduate on February 21. “When I first started this journey, it seemed so long and far away, but as time passed, it was just a blink of an eye,” Kim said.
Mr. Kim, who lived in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, attended elementary school during the Japanese occupation but stopped studying in 1951 when he had to flee during the war. In 2022, he began attending Songam High School in Goyang, a continuing education institution that enables adults to earn a high school diploma after completing six semesters in two years.
Although he enrolled at the urging of his son, Kim was quickly intrigued by the idea of learning again after nearly 70 years. His favorite subject was English. “If I can speak English, which is spoken by everyone in the world, and I can speak it well, it will be very enjoyable,” Kim said. “I'm thinking of going to a foreign country once I am proficient in the language.”