Our promise to make Seoul a happy place for children and adolescents to live
The longest school day in the world, highest private education fees in the world, highest number of students per class among OECD countries, highest rate of increase in teen suicides, and lowest teen happiness index—the indices on Korea’s children and adolescents are truly frightening and embarrassing. But even in the face of such sobering statistics, there has been no society-wide interest in the welfare of Korea’s youth or noticeable increases in the funding allocated to related offices and departments. In fact, the education budget has decreased, and there is a dire shortage of facilities for adolescents.
Seoul Metropolitan Government has consistently made efforts to create new policies for its children and adolescents. Through the “Joint Declaration for Hope and Education in Seoul” signed in May 2012, it established the direction of its policies for children and adolescents, while the “Declaration for Seoul as a Global Innovative Education City” signed in November 2014 opened up a new era of cooperation between Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education. Based on these achievements, now is the time to pursue “Seoul, Innovative City of Education,” an ideal supported by Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education and spearheaded by local governments and village communities.
Based on the firm resolve of the mayor of Seoul, superintendent of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, district mayors, and the civilian board members of private associations on welfare and education to make Seoul a city more conducive to the health and happiness of children and adolescents, we solemnly promise the children, adolescents, and 10 million citizens of Seoul that we will utilize all of our administrative capabilities and mobilize the human and material resources of local communities to jointly execute the following policy projects.
November 20, 2015
Our resolutions for the realization of “Seoul, Innovative City of Education”
1. We will do everything we can and provide all available support to ensure that the children and adolescents of Seoul can grow up happy and healthy at home, at school, and in our communities.
1. We will support the children and adolescents of Seoul in developing their potential and capabilities, discovering their aptitude, and enjoying hobbies by providing education without discrimination.
1. We will support the children and adolescents of Seoul so that they can grow into healthy democratically-minded citizens who know how to express their thoughts and opinions and enjoy the freedom of participation and autonomy.
1. We will ensure that the children and adolescents of Seoul have sufficient time to rest and relax, allowing them to grow up to become well-rounded, healthy adults.
1. We will do our best, through public-private governance, to make Seoul a city where all children and adolescents can be happy.
1. We will make every effort to establish close cooperative relationships among companies, institutions, and facilities working the area of child and adolescent welfare in order to combine their efforts and create a synergy effect.
1. In order to ensure that the promises made in this declaration are fulfilled, we will create and operate an organization tasked with promoting the ideal of “Seoul, Innovative City of Education” and composed of representatives from Seoul Metropolitan Government, the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, local governments, and the citizen body.