The public education structure is divided into three parts: six years of primary school, followed by three years of middle school and three years of high school. After completing middle school, pupils are randomly assigned to either a single-gender or co-educational high school in their area. High schools are, furthermore, divided into traditional high schools and vocational high schools.
Schools in South Korea often focus almost solely on academics, and many public schools don't have sports facilities of good quality. Rote learning is emphasised, and particular attention is given to science, maths, Korean and English.
There is an unusually high percentage of private schools in South Korea, making up a fifth of all schools in the country but almost half of all high schools. There is also a large number of privately run after-hours hagwons, which employ thousands of Westerners as foreign language teachers.
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