In South Korea, there is a school that helps women and men (over 40 years old) who have not received education to graduate. It is a valid example of social integration offered by the State to all those who did not have the economic opportunity to study. This initiative also helps keep schools operating in villages where more and more young people are going missing while seeking opportunities in the city. Could the school for the elderly work in other countries around the world?

The ghosts of South Korea

South Korea is a country facing various problems, not only geopolitical, but also demographic. Villages are often depopulated by young people who go to study in the city, in search of better jobs and better opportunities. This phenomenon leads to school closures, reducing residents' opportunities to find employment or start a family. At this stage, older people come into play, but especially older people who have never managed to have a school education. In fact, they are women who are facing school for the first time and in doing so, they revitalize the school environment in villages where there are fewer and fewer young people. There are many reasons why Korean women did not receive an education: among them the political instability that followed the Japanese occupation and the war with North Korea. Without forgetting the mentality of the time, according to which it was inappropriate for a girl to study: Post-war Korean society, especially in the villages, was very chauvinistic. Women did not need to study because they had to work in the fields and take care of the family. However, in today's reality, illiterate people have immense difficulty managing their daily lives, both in dealing with bureaucracy and in being independent in the simplest activities.

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A new educational opportunity and solutions for the future

This Korean initiative solves two problems at once: raise the level of literacy in the countryside, particularly among women, and fight against depopulation and the closure of schools in the countryside. Even if this solution is not stable, it can serve as an example for many other countries facing the same problems. Recently, the world's population surpassed 8 billion, but several countries are showing signs of decline. China, for example, saw its population decrease by 0.15%, or 2.08 million inhabitants. Even India, the most populous country in the world, will find itself facing the same problems even if its growth continues until 2050. Both realities present an educational gap between the city and the countryside and will face rural depopulation.

South Korea's initiative to revitalize rural education it could also become a model for our country. Italy, like Korea, faces depopulation, particularly in mountain areas where opportunities and services are fewer. In many regions, initiatives are emerging to repopulate villages and fight against school dropouts. The Bel Paese is also moving forward with initiatives linked to the repopulation of villages such as the “sale of one-euro houses”, which could breathe new life into small, uninhabited towns, while distorting their tradition.

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