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School Swap: Korea Style

Duration: 1 x 59'

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Three British teenagers swap their teachers and parents for school life in South Korea, a country with one of the top but toughest education systems in the world. Pupils work long hours, teachers can become millionaires and parents pay small fortunes for private tuition for their kids.

What does it take to have the best schools in the world? The UK education system is commonly way behind those of countries like South Korea. In School Swap: Korea Style journalist Sian Griffiths explores what it would take for British schools to compete and be at the top of the International Education rankings known as PISA.

Three teenagers spend three days totally immersed in school and teenage life in Seoul. The boys, Tommy and Ewan, attend an all-boys’ school that’s one of the best in the city, whilst Sarah attends an all-girls’ school nearby with strict rules on uniform and appearance. How will they cope with the extended hours of regular school lessons, followed by after-school study and private night classes that run until 10pm. In the boys’ school the class is presented with a sample of a British GCSE Maths exam – and many students finish it in just 15 minutes.

The British pupils also get a surprise visit from their headteacher, and a wannabe Korean Maths teacher discusses losing three of his friends to suicide, outlining the negative effect the education system can have on teenagers in Korea.

For BBC2

School Swap: Korea Style
School Swap: Korea Style
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