clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

South Korea plans to extend 'internet dangers' education to three-year-olds

New, 26 comments
Associated Press/Ahn Young-joon
Associated Press/Ahn Young-joon

From next year, South Koreans as young as three could be coached on how to save themselves from the pitfalls of electronic addiction. Fostered by high broadband penetration, such addiction (to online games in particular) has become a real issue in parts of Asia, leading the Korean government to plan a new program in an attempt to stem the problem at an early age. There are already laws in Korea that prohibit children and teenagers from playing online games after midnight.

According to the AP, nearly 90 percent of kindergarten children will be coached on "how to control their exposure to digital devices" as well as "the danger of staying online for long hours." The government's aims with the project aren't to turn kids off technology, however, and children will be encouraged to learn about "positive" things they can do with their computers, such as listening to music. They'll also be read fairy tales warning of internet addiction, learn about non-electronic games, and sing songs that instruct them to close their eyes and stretch their bodies after playing video games.

There's some disagreement within Korean government as to whether or not the proposed educational plan should go ahead. The Seoul Shinmun reports that huge budget cuts will have to be made in other areas of education in order to fund the program, and local and central governments are currently stuck at loggerheads on the issue.

Hyunhu Jang contributed to this article