Sunday, November 4, 2007

Are You SERIOUS?!!!

Thanks to my trusty LG-LB2800 DMB cell phone, I'm actually plugging into more Korean broadcasts. At home, I'm strictly a CNN International gal because cable companies are only allowed to carry one English news company (don't ask me why.) The rest of my news is gathered from the Internet. However, with my phone and my commute which consists of a 30 to 45 minute bus ride out of Seoul to Kyonggi-do, I've got time to tune in. Now I find myself firing up my phone and tuning into Korean TV or radio instead or reading or listening to music on my PDA. In fact, I got first hand confirmation that the new Korean pop group the Wonder Girls really do suck because I saw a performance, if you want to call it that.

Anyway, on Friday I was on the school bus heading back to Seoul. I was listening to Arirang radio and heard a story about officers in the Korean military who'd faked Philipino degrees to gain promotions.

What the hell?

Anyway, the reporter said that the military claimed there was no way to check this information. This is the same lame excuse used in the other degree scandals. What the hell do you mean there is no way to check?!!!

You find the school's phone number, pick up the phone, you call the school, you ask for the registrar department and you find out the process for verifying whether someone did or didn't graduate from the damn school. If you don't want to speak to someone, in this day and age you can find that information on the school's website. Again, as I've written before, no legitimate school wants people running around claiming they're graduates when they're not. It's up to employeers to verify this information, period.

Granted, it's best if people don't lie, but Korea is very much a one chance only society in some ways. If you fail the entrance exam or have a bad day when you take whatever test it is you have to take to get a job or even an interview, you're screwed. As a result of this, one strike situation, the temptation to lie is a very serious one. That's going to take Korean society changing and allowing people to move in or move up in different ways. However, that's not something I'm willing to theorize about at this point. That's up to Koreans to recognize and change.

Just don't give me this b.s. that you can't verify credentials. It's done all the time, except in Korea, it seems.

AFP: SKorea's fake degree scandal spreads to military
Wake T-Rex: Lovely Just Lovely, Korean Military Officers Fake Filipino University Degrees

JoongAng Ilbo: Fake degree scandals hit the military

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  1. theres been a lot the same scandals happening with professors it seems and even entertainers, most recently the singer Tim. maybe Korea shouldnt focus so much on people's background and instead look for their future potential.

  2. Yeah, I've been talking about it for a few weeks now.

    It's just when it hits the military, that's serious. These people are there to defend the country. Instead, it's all about number 1, promotions regardless of education qualifications, but to hell with that. This is happening when the US is down sizing their numbers here. No wonder Korea is talking about having the US stay after they officially declare peace with the North.

    I think in most cases the rules should be altered a bit. Let people take the college entrance exam twice. Maybe they WERE having a bad day. Change the system so when my senior students get a job they don't have to work until they finish their coursework. Here, when a senior gets a job, they're gone. That's unheard of in the West. You get hired and the jobs know that you're going to show up in a few weeks time. Here they're expected to shirk school and immediately work.

    Isn't the point of recruiting people with college degrees is that they have some knowledge behind the degree? In Korea, no. It doesn't seem to be much about that at all.

    This lying goes deep. Foreigners here know this because there are too many inept people at the top.

  3. Japan is very much the same -- or at least it used to be like this before the bubble burst. After the slump, they say that they system changed and more people were hired for their practical ability than their academic background, but the university people graduate from still ranks very high in determining career success.

    I know that Korea's scandals are to do with people who have faked their diplomas, but there are a lot of people in Japan who have actually graduated from big-name universities and yet are little more than plodders. That is because the whole system is rigged so that once you get into a university, you have to really mess up to flunk out. And getting into a university is often nothing more than a lottery.

  4. Hehehehehe...well, we've got the "educated" plodders here too. I'd say it's pretty bad because sometimes I wonder just how inept you have to be when you graduate from a university before you'll get canned.

    The answer is you've got to be really inept and you'll probably still not be fired.


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