Too Much Studying Can Be Illegal in S. Korea

'Hagparazzi' seek rule-breaking private tutors
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2011 4:37 PM CDT
Too Much Studying Can Be Illegal in S. Korea
In a picture taken on September 19, 2011 in Seoul, a teacher leads a class on how to catch rule-breakers.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – South Korea’s got a new kind of secret agent: the private education spy. The government is cracking down on costly tutoring institutions, and it offers a reward to citizens who catch tutors breaking the rules. The institutions, known as hagwons, have sprung up nationwide, sparking concerns that wealthy kids will get an unfair advantage in a society that prides itself on equality, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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What’s more, “students are supposed to sleep and take care of themselves instead of spending so many hours studying after school,” says an activist. Tens of thousands of hagwons have spread across the country, and they can cost parents $1,000 a month. Officials have implemented new restrictions on the tutors, including curfews and price limitations. That’s led to many earning cash as “hagparazzi,” posing as parents and entering hagwons with recording devices to capture any illegal over-education. (Read more South Korea stories.)

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