Fostering a High-Quality Educational City
Seogwipo City hall

The Problem

Education is an essential activity for people, in which knowledge is taught and learned. One's character is developed through education and it is also the growth process of future human resources. The aspiration for education is very prevalent in South Korea but there are serious adverse side effects to this.

With increasing spending on private education, the economic circumstances of families are significant in the quality of education received. In particular, the substandard educational facilities of Seogwipo City are the reason its population has fallen. The regional economy is accordingly affected, resulting in a vicious cycle in which reinvestment in education is prevented.
The population of Seogwipo City has decreased continuously for the 22 years from 1987 to 2009, a major reason for which is the migration of citizens to areas with access to better education.
* Population change: 1987: 175,773 → 2009: 153,797 (reduction of 21,976 in the past 22 years)

Standardized education impedes creative thinking in students. This is due to the lack of consideration of internal maturity and character improvement in current syllabi, which focus wholly on academic performance.
Also, this style of education, which focuses on the national college entrance examination and learning by rote, fosters negative competitiveness rather than cooperation.

As a result of this, there is an increasing demand from citizens for educational innovations such as the diversification of educational programs, education focusing on character improvement, and fostering self-learning capabilities.
Seogwipo City and its citizens formed a social consensus on the necessity of innovation in education, resulting in the proposal of the 'High-Quality Educational City Promotional Project.'

Solution and Key Benefits

 What is the initiative about? (the solution)
Seogwipo City improved its educational programs and environment to foster creative talent through the 'High-Quality Educational City Promotional Project' over the past three years from 2010 until 2012.
The citizen-led 'Seogwipo City Educational Development Fund' is currently in formation.
Seogwipo City aims to secure funds of USD 9.242 million by 2013, starting with the 'Seogwipo City Educational Development Forum' formed in November 2010. As of October 2012, USD 3.142 million was procured with the participation of citizens, civic groups, and local businesses. In order to expand civic participation, online and offline activities such as the operation of the Seogwipo City Educational Development Fund website ( and the 'Account for Every Citizen' movement were conducted. The funding is used for the 'High-Quality Educational City Promotional Project.'
A user-centric after-school education program was developed to foster talent.
Since 2011, USD 0.944 million was spent annually on elementary, middle and high schools in Seogwipo City for the operation of specialized educational programs. Ninety-six educational programs including reading, essay writing, debate coaching, self-directed learning, and education focusing on special interests were performed with the participation of 6,989 students.

Various educational programs were conducted to promote prestigious high schools.
USD 0.83 million was used to support 10 high schools in the region to operate EBS (Korea Educational Broadcasting System) lectures, language study abroad, and an interview program targeting college entrance exams. Also, special essay lectures with famous speakers from other regions have been helpful for high school students to be accepted into colleges and promote academic ability.
They have been expanded to education programs across various levels.
A 'college for the agriculture, livestock and fishery industries of Seogwipo City' operated in 2012 to target members of these industries to provide countermeasures to trade liberalization such as FTA agreements, with a total of 129 people completing the course. The competitiveness of primary industry is reinforced by acquiring professional management expertise in agriculture. Specialized education for youth employment was conducted and 23 people completed the course.

Actors and Stakeholders

 Who proposed the solution, who implemented it and who were the stakeholders?
The first priority of the 'High-Quality Educational City Promotional Project' was to assess the demand from interested parties (Seogwipo City, the district office of education, schools, parents, and students) in the project plan.

This suggested a need for a public-private organizational body. The 'Seogwipo City Educational Development Forum' covering all interested parties commenced in November 2010 by consolidating opinions from various social groups. Thirty-five people including administrators, educational officers, school members and parents participated in the 'Seogwipo City Educational Development Forum', which plays a role in establishing vision and strategies for the 'High-Quality Educational City Promotional Project.' To support the project the administration installed a lifelong education support department (4 managers, 21 staff) in January 2012.

Through the discussion, workshop and meetings hosted by 'Seogwipo City Educational Development Forum' citizens' opinions, such as educational development fund raising campaign, liberal arts classes for youth, and an essay interview program were suggested and reflected in the 'High-Quality Educational City Promotional Project.'

'Seogwipo City Educational Development Forum' comprises five departments for operation such as character improvement, academic ability, and infants to develop user-centric educational programs. Each department consolidates the opinions of citizens and comes up with policies.

Parents and students are the core interested parties in the 'High-Quality Educational City Promotional Project.' Their demands must be regarded as top priority. Therefore, a briefing session on the performance of the 'High-Quality Educational City Promotional Project' is held every year, and opinions aired in this meeting are reflected in subsequent plans.

(a) Strategies

 Describe how and when the initiative was implemented by answering these questions
 a.      What were the strategies used to implement the initiative? In no more than 500 words, provide a summary of the main objectives and strategies of the initiative, how they were established and by whom.
The 'High-Quality Educational City Promotional Project' is to provide the highest-quality educational environment to improve academic ability and foster creative talent to ensure students are able to attain their dreams through education.

Seogwipo city sets step-by-step objectives by establishing strategies for three steps aiming at the creation of a desirable city in which to live through education.

The first is the formation of a public-private organization to conduct educational programs.
There is a limit to efforts of the administration in improving the educational environment. As a public-private organization, 'Seogwipo Educational Development Forum' is performing its role adequately in arbitrating public opinion and administrative objectives. Each department of the 'Seogwipo City Educational Development Forum' is attracting the participation of various social groups in activities including the preservation of schools in farming and fishing villages and educational support for underprivileged groups.

The second stage is measurement of budgetary provisions through the 'Seogwipo City Educational Development Fund.'
'Seogwipo City Educational Development Forum' targets former and current citizens and local businesses to raise funds to operate educational programs. As of October 2012, 4600 citizens from all walks of life participated and USD 3.093 million was collected. This was possible due to the expectations of this 'High-Quality Educational City Promotional Project' and the will of local society to change.

The third stage is the operation of specialized education programs.
The 'High-Quality Educational City Promotional Project' is steadily under way in accordance with the 'Seogwipo City Educational Development Fund.' Various education programs are being performed in 44 elementary, middle and high schools which are greatly beneficial for students to develop their character and self-study abilities.

(b) Implementation

 b.      What were the key development and implementation steps and the chronology? No more than 500 words
Since 2000 there has been a consensus among citizens to improve the educational environment of Seogwipo City.
There is growing demand for the support of educational programs through public education as an increasing number of families struggle to afford private education, and a reduction in population due to a relatively poor educational environment in comparison with other cities. Therefore, the consensus on the necessity of the 'High-Quality Educational City Promotional Project' has been extended through discussion including citizens' debates and workshops on educational development.

In 2010 the establishment of a public-private organization and the procurement of an educational development fund commenced.
A sense of crisis in education policy increases the necessity of public-private cooperation and spurred the achievement of a concrete result, namely the 'Seogwipo City Educational Development Forum.' In addition, in order to normalize public education and support specialized educational programs for creativity, financial backing is required. This was the basis for fund raising for the 'Seogwipo City Educational Development Fund,' and an engine of educational policy was secured.

In 2011 the 'High-Quality Educational City Promotional Project' improved the educational environment.
A user-centric educational program was developed with the target of parents and students. The support of 96 courses for specialized after school programs improved the quality of public education. Also, 10 local high schools were selected for nurturing as Seogwipo-style prestigious high schools for the enhancement of self-directed academic study and improvement of academic performance of students. In particular, customized education in each school including an essay and discussion academy, college entrance counseling fair, and job seeking training were helpful for college entrance end job seeking prospects.

In 2012, lifelong educational programs targeting various social groups were extended.
A college course for those in those in farming, fishing and livestock industries has operated following agreement with the Seogwipo City branch of Nonghyup, the Seogwipo branch of the National Federation of Fisheries, and the Seogwipo City branch of the Korea Federation of Livestock Cooperatives under circumstances in which there is no systematic education for workers in these industries. Nineteen lectures were provided to acquire professional management expertise for those in agricultural, livestock and fishing industries, and a total of 128 people completed the course to become competitive in these fields of primary industry. Also, employment opportunities were provided with 20 lectures by a business start-up academy for youth to assist job creation among young people and 15,000 people participated in the Jeju Jinlo job fair.

(c) Overcoming Obstacles

 c.      What were the main obstacles encountered? How were they overcome? No more than 500 words
The reality of education in the Republic of Korea is the collapse of the public education system and rise of education that stifles creativity and character improvement.

These problems in education policies have been raised continuously. To some extent a consensus was formed, but a public-private organization to lead education policy and financial resources to invest in education were absent.

Therefore, reflecting the opinions of citizens and attracting public-private cooperation were the main challenges in the establishment of educational policies. Through the activities of the 'Seogwipo City Educational Development Forum' including six general meetings, eight staff meetings, two citizens' discussion meetings, and two workshops, the opinions of citizens were collected. In addition, suggestions for educational programs such as book discussion academies, career exploration, and preserving schools in farming and fishing villages were reflected in the 'High-Quality Educational City Promotional Project' and are being enacted.

The next obstacle is the provision of finance for investment in education.
Funding is crucial to the continued performance of the project. The 'Seogwipo City Educational Development Fund' was raised to expand the project's activities. Also, the Seogwipo City education development fund website ( is attracting the participation of citizens though online methods including a customer center and funding news.

(d) Use of Resources

 d.      What resources were used for the initiative and what were its key benefits? In no more than 500 words, specify what were the financial, technical and human resources’ costs associated with this initiative. Describe how resources were mobilized
A task force and budget were created for the 'High-Quality Educational City Promotional Project.'

An administrative organization to identify educational policy tasks and creative city team (two divisions, eight members) were formed in July 2010 to provide a basis for the 'High-Quality Educational City Promotional Project' The organization was extended in January 2012 with the installation of a lifelong education support department (4 managers, 21 staff) to provide concrete support for educational programs. Innovative and enterprising civil servants were selected to perform the project.

In November 2010 the public-private cooperation 'Seogwipo City Educational Development Forum' was organized to start the citizens' initiative project. As a result of this, cooperation was obtained and conditions to focus on the 'High-Quality Educational City Promotional Project' were created.

The following concerns budget support for the 'High-Quality Educational City Promotional Project.'
Funds of USD 0.944 million raised for educational development were used to support after-school programs, one aspect of the 'High-Quality Educational City Promotional Project.' Eight hundred and USD 0.821 million was spent on the promotion of 10 prestigious local high schools. The money was used for a college for those in agriculture, livestock and fisheries and a youth employment creation project.

As a result of these efforts, the number of students transferring to schools in other regions has been steadily decreasing from 228 in 2010, to 211 in 2011, and 190 in 2012. Out of 1512 high school graduates, 80 were accepted into prestigious universities including Seoul National University. Also, the professional management ability of people in agriculture, livestock and fishery industries was improved and youth employment opportunities were created. A visible effect was created with the increase in the population of Seogwipo City, from 153,797 in 2009 to 156,829 in October 2012; i.e. an increase of 3,032 people.

Sustainability and Transferability

  Is the initiative sustainable and transferable?
Education is the activity of teaching and learning knowledge and the values possessed by individuals or groups in a desired direction. Education creates conditions in which people may live lives with higher value, and is also a driving force in the development of society.

Due to the reality of the increasing financial burden imposed on families due to the expansion of private education, extensive education opportunities for various social groups are provided through public education. As the performance of the 'High-Quality Educational City Promotional Project' becomes apparent, the interest of citizens is growing and accordingly their demand increases. In particular, citizens' participation has steadily increased in the 'Seogwipo City Educational Development Fund' resulting in the formation of financial support, allowing the project to be continued.

The future of the 'High-Quality Educational City Promotional Project' needs to be continuously developed with the expansion of education programs (such as the preservation of schools in farming and fishing villages) for underprivileged groups including senior citizens, women, and the disabled, and attraction of specialized universities.
The positive effect of fostering creative talent through the provision of education programs, fund raising, and establishment of educational policies initiated by citizens is plausible anywhere in the world. It is a project that may be recommended to every nation as it is to provide opportunities for the self-realization of students and it is to nurture the future human resources of societies.

Lessons Learned

 What are the impact of your initiative and the lessons learned?
The 'High-Quality Educational City Promotional Project' enhances the regional pride of citizens as well as reducing the burden on families due to high education expenses. In this way diverse demands of the citizens were met.

This project is performed by public-private cooperation, which assisted in the accumulation of various experience including methods of public-private cooperation and utilization of financial resources. This will be a great asset in the future development of Seogwipo City. In addition, it was beneficial for civic groups as they improved their partnerships with the administration.

The reinforcement of citizens' capability produces fresh educational ideas and suggestions to the administration, which were reflected on by administrative offices. The provision of various educational programs will foster creative talent as well as be the foundation of social development.

Also, this consistent education policy strengthens public education and redeems credibility. With the improvement of the educational environment, people choose to remain in the region and the city has transformed to a place where people gather. Accordingly, the region's vitality has been restored. It is hoped that the experience of creating ability for sustainable urban development will benefit both the regional community and the nation at large.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Seogwipo City hall
Institution Type:   Public Organization  
Contact Person:   jeong jong pil
Title:   Planning Manager  
Telephone/ Fax:   +82-64-760-2192 / +82-64-760-2199
Institution's / Project's Website:
Address:   Jungang-ro 105
Postal Code:   697-701
City:   Seogwipo City
State/Province:   Jeju Special Self-governing Province

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