The excessive interest in private education has become a hot topic in South Korea of late. In 2009, Seoul formed a university-student-oriented volunteer group called “Donghaeng Volunteer Group” to ease the parents’ economic burden. Its aim is to restrain or reduce the heavy reliance on private education and to sustain the country’s weak public education sector.
About Donghaeng Project
Donghaeng Project is scheduled twice a year (from March to June and from September to December). You can apply for Donghaeng Project volunteer activity in an elementary·middle·high·special school, a child community center, or a health & family support center.
Interview with Park Jung-jae (Donghaeng Project administration teacher) and Go Sung-sik (Hansei Cyber Secure High School student)
ST : What are the merits of Donghaeng Project that you cannot derive from the usual classes?
Park : In school, Donghaeng is administered in the form of strengthening the students’ basics. It helps students develop their confidence and thus improves their performance in some subjects, such as Math, English, and Korean. Through this, the students are expected to undergo some positive changes.
ST : In what way does Seoul Donghaeng help you?
Go : I started Donghaeng two years ago. I was very poor at math at that time. As I studied math effectively and systematically with the method that a student volunteer had taught me, I managed to improve my math grade from 8 to 2. Also, the student volunteer’s past experiences greatly helped me plan my own future career more clearly.
ST : What do you recommend Donghaeng for?
Moon : Donghaeng means “going with somebody” and “happiness for brothers.” Combining the two, it means “going with one’s brothers for their happiness.” Some university students think of volunteer activities as essential for getting a job, so they focus only on the amount of time that they will spend doing volunteer activities. Donghaeng’s volunteer activities, however, help the students not only get a job but also learn something that they cannot learn from class. That’s why I recommend this activity.
Interview with Kim Ji-eun, a manager of Seoul Donghaeng Project of the Seoul Volunteer Center Organization Planning Department
ST : What do you want to tell the university students about this project?
Kim : If you make an effort to share valuable experiences with your brothers and sisters, and to help others, you will find yourself more developed. Join your brothers and sisters up to the last activity! We will generously support your activities until you are satisfied.
Donghaeng Project, a well-organized project, will be meaningless unless the university students show their commitment. So as not to diminish the project, therefore, the university students, including ourselves, shouldn't miss the opportunity to participate in the project. In so doing, we can help our brothers and sisters, ourselves, and our society.