The nine hour test ranks every Korean high school senior. On the basis of this one score, students are accepted or barred from Universities; future prospects are set for jobs in government and big companies; future salary levels are determined; future success is lost or secured. The test largely determines a young person’s future. It is so important here that aircraft are re-routed away from the test site, roads are closed to non-test related vehicles, and the workday begins an hour later to prevent traffic jams that might make students late.
Because of this intense testing gauntlet that every student must attempt to navigate, suicide rates among youth here are the highest in the world. There are 40 reported suicides every day on average in South Korea, with a cruel spike in numbers right after the National Exams, and then again right after the test scores are released.
The pressure is so high because South Korean parents have abandoned traditional values in favour of one single goal. “From the beginning of childhood, the importance of money and achievement are emphasised by parents, so [children] feel that unless you are successful in school grades and a good job, good prestigious college, you’re not successful, and the parents behave as if ‘you’re not my child’,” says Korean Psychologist Dr. Hong (BBC).
Pray for Korean Youth
Pray for the young people who took the test on Thursday:
- Release from stress
- Release from societal expectation
- Release from Competition
Pray that the yokes of bondage will be broken:
- The yoke of unfair standards
- the yoke of family expectation
- The yoke of disapproval
Pray for a release into freedom:
- Freedom from fear
- Freedom in Christ
- Freedom of the Love of God
Stand against the Spirits of:
Finally, pray that the hearts of the Fathers will be turned to their children; that parents here will see how devastating the system is — and that the hearts of the children will be turned to the Fathers. Pray that the family will rise up as a new and potent force in this culture, and that the children will be protected in a heart of love.