A video depicting the disturbing reality of students in South Korea is going viral.
In the video, a middle school girl starts by asking her mother, “If I pass this exam, can I do what I want?” Throughout the video, the girl becomes increasingly more stressed and agitated with school. She is unable to hang out with her friends and goes to cram schools until late at night, only to come home and have her mother push her to study even more. In the end, she passes the exam, and her mother tells her she can do whatever she wants.
She kills herself by leaping from the top of her apartment building.
The video goes on to say that it is based on a true story, and unfortunately, stories like this girl’s are all too common in South Korea. Statistics show that Korean children are among the unhappiest in the world, and many children say that the pressure of doing well in school is their biggest burden. How well a student does in school determines their future – what college they get into, which company they work for, and ultimately their happiness overall. It’s very competitive, and it’s no wonder so many kids are driven to suicide. In fact, the number one killer of children and young adults in Korea is suicide.
Response to the suicide crisis in Korea varies, from anti-suicide pacts to “suicide schools” where suicidal people can experience a mock funeral. While these strategies acknowledge the fact that suicide is a huge problem in Korea, it doesn’t do anything to help the underlying causes. What do you think should be done to aid the epidemic in Korea?
You can watch the video below (Warning: some disturbing content).