January 22, 2024
SEOUL – South Korean middle and high school students regard politicians and presidents as the least trusted professions, while they view teachers as the most, a survey showed Sunday.
Although poor working conditions have taken a toll on waning teachers’ rights, some 86.8 percent of middle and high school students said they have trust for teachers when asked how much they trusted the profession, according to a poll conducted by the Korean Education Development Institute on students’ education policy perception in 2023.
Police and prosecutors ranked second in terms of trustworthiness for respondents with 61.7 percent, followed by judges at 55.6 percent and journalists at 37.6 percent.
Only 34 percent of those surveyed considered professional occupations in the field of religion as trustworthy, while 31.5 percent considered social media influencers to be trustworthy. On the flip side, middle and high school students gave politicians and the president the thumbs-down, ranking the professions the lowest in terms of trust at 23.4 percent and 22.7 percent, respectively.
The findings came to light in an online survey conducted on 11,079 middle and high school students from across the country between July 5 and July 19, 2023.
When asked to rate each occupation’s trustworthiness on a 4-point scale, the respondents gave teachers the highest average rating of 3.26, while the president received the lowest score of 1.99. Politicians scored an average of 2.05, while social media moguls scored 2.23.
The survey also found that 50 percent of respondents think that society discriminates against people based on money, followed by school grades at 44.8 percent and disability at 44 percent.
In response to another question asking about the closest form of success they envision, some 36.5 percent of the students indicated that they believe success is measured by “living a happy life.” However, the survey did not examine what constituted a happy life.
Additionally, 31.2 percent of respondents opted for “making lots of money,” while 14.8 percent chose “landing a dream job.”
Meanwhile, 77.1 percent of elementary, middle and high school students of 13,863 respondents said they enjoy going to school. Some 85.1 percent of all respondents answered they are “satisfied with school life overall.”
However, 48.5 percent of the answerers said they had experienced conflicts with their peers within the past four months. Some 24.7 percent of respondents said they found it hard to cultivate deep friendships, while 21.4 percent said they worry about getting bullied at school.