Cram schools in their true form are beneficial and useful to students who struggle with their grades. I myself am favorable towards cram schools and the benefits they possess. I was accepted in college through a screening process only for students with a high command of the English language. This involved taking an essay examination in English that asked my thoughts on world affairs and political ideologies. The level of understanding and knowledge expected in those tests required me to study at cram schools. Even till this day I do not think that I could have gotten accepted to college without studying at cram schools.
Even so, the private tutoring industry in Korea has now developed into an aggressive stage that is reaching borderline insanity. Private education should only exist as an aid to public education; it should not be the main core of a child’s education nor should it depend on prestige. The concept of a cram school preparing students enter a seemingly more prestigious cram school is nothing short of ridiculous. I myself have also drifted to cram school from cram school as a high school student. Some were extremely overpriced while some cost close to nothing. And in the end, it all comes down to the aptitude of the student. If the student has the potential to achieve academic growth, it would be achieved regardless the fame or yearly statistics proving the prestige of its cram school.
Those who worship private tutoring to the point of lunacy need to slip out their delusion and realize that such cram schools are not miracle schools. It is up to the student themselves to excel in academics. In the meantime, the government needs to strengthen the competitiveness of Korea’s public education sector and try to lessen the public’s over reliance of private tutoring. If Korea has a strong public education curriculum, private education will return to its intended purpose naturally. Whether the government is actually willing to implement a plan that will do so is a different matter though.