I couldn't help noticing that the Korean stock market seemed to have a missing hour this morning. Why didn't they open until 10am?
We had to go out to get some documents scanned today for our case. After several days of illness I was just about up to it. We entered a copy shop where the staff, apparently a family, went about their business in near silence. From the looks they were exchanging it felt as though we'd walked in mid-way through a huge argument - perhaps we had. Certainly the daughter was having huge problems getting her computer to work, adding to the sense that any moment there could be a huge explosion of violence. We stood there waiting for a long time. My wife suggested after we escaped that a lot of families could be on edge - because today is university entrance exam day, where Korean high school students take the all-important test which determines whether they get in to their institution of choice.
So, the Korean stock market, and in principle other businesses, actually start work an hour later than normal. This puts back the normal commuter rush by an hour, ensuring students can get to school unhindered. But it goes further:
"Police mobilized motorcycles to help transport some late exam takers, and the military halted flight operations and banned shooting drills near the test venues for fear of distracting the students taking an English language listening comprehension test."
Yonhap News Agency
But if you thought things were tough for the students, spare a thought for the test writers:
"Together with students and their parents who were freed from the test pressure, 315 test writers were also released from their 35-day confinement at a hotel, out of Seoul. They were completely cut off from any outside contact to prevent any possible leakage of the test questions."
I guess you could say they take education very seriously here.
Korean tags: 시험, 학교, 대학교