Translated by Kelly Choi
Korean schools in the New England region will open this September. Recently, attending a Korean school became almost mandatory rather than optional for second generation Korean-Americans, due to their parents’ huge interests. This fact proves that Korean schools are rapidly becoming more important. However, despite their increased importance, Korean schools haven’t been the centers of interest they ought to.
According to the Consulate General in Boston, 27 Korean schools in New England regions provide Korean-language education to 1,168 Korean-Americans. These schools employ 257 teachers in total. And Massachusett has 22 Korean schools, more than anywhere else in the New England region, at 1,032 students and 228 teachers.
Rhode Island has three Korean schools: Rhode Island Korean School, Rhode Island Central Korean Church Korean School, and Rhode Island Sang-Dong Korean School. In all, 19 Rhode Island teachers educate 108 students. New Hampshire and Maine have fewer Korean schools than Rhode Island. And currently, only two Korean schools in New Hampshire, Oori Bburi Korean School in Hooksett and Greenland Korean Schools in Greenland, are managed.
Maine has only one Korean school, Maine Korean School. These three schools serve a total of 78 students with the help of 15 teachers.
The Korean school with the largest number of students and teachers in New England is the New England Korean School in Newton, Massachusetts. The school has 457 students and 60 teachers. “This area has a large Korean population” said Young-joo Baek, a real estate expert.
The next largest Korean school is Rhode Island Korean School in Providence, Rhode Island. They have 79 students and 12 teachers.
North Boston Korean School in Andover, St.John’s Korean School in Lexington, Boston Korean School in Brookline, and Korean Catholic Community Korean School in Waban have a similar number of students and teachers at between 50 and 60 students and between 10 and 20 teachers.
The Cambridge Korean Presbyterian Church Korean School in Allington, MA, Joen Ddang Korean School in Westboro, Korean Presbyterian Church in Greater Boston Korean school in hopkinton have 30-40 students. They have around 10 teachers.
New England Korean School has the longest history of educating students. It was established in 1975 by Korean Society in New England. North Boston Korean School and Rhode Island Korean School followed soon thereafter in 1977 and 1978, and were established by Korean American Association of Rhode Island respectively.
Korean schools established in 1980s are Quincy Korean School, Korean Catholic Community Korean School, Boston Korean School, ME Korean School established by ME Korean Association. Schools established in 1990s are Joen Ddang Korean School, St.John’s Korean School, and Korean Presbyterian Church in Greater Boston Korean school.
In addition, Rhode Island Central Korean Church Korean School in Rhode Island, Cambridge Korean Presbyterian Church Korean School in Massachusetts, Boston Sam Yook Korean School, Antioch Korean School, Milal Korean School, Boston Central Korean School, Vision Church Korean School, Korean School of Western Massachusetts, Springfield first Korean church Korean school , Oori Bburi Korean School were established this past decade.
Nazareth Korean school, Kyungseo Korean School, Worcester Korean School , Sejong Korean School, Good News Boston Korean School were established in 2008, and Rhode Island Sang-Dong Korean School, the most recently established, in March of 2010.
Most of the schools have classes on Saturday mornings for two to three hours. Some schools offer classes at different times, such as the Rhode Island Korean School, which has classes every Friday night, and Joen Ddang Korean School, Boston Sam Yook Korean School with classes before and after Sunday services.
Small schools affiliated with the church use the church’s building free of charge.
On the other hand, Some Korean schools lease building including New England Korean School, Rhode Island Korean School, Oori Bburi Korean School, Korean School of Western Massachusetts lease buildings, and some schools pay rent including New England Korean School, Rhode Island Sang-Dong Korean School, and Oori Bburi Korean School. However, the Rhode Island Korean School uses a Brown University building and the Korean School of Western Massachusetts uses University of Massachusetts buildings, both for free.
The New England Korean School requires the most tuition, $320 for a 15- to 17- week long semester. Boston Korean School comes in second at $260. Most of the schools’ tuition fees are in the range of $150 and $200, but Joen Ddang Korean School, Boston sam Yook Korean School offer classes for free.
A large number of schools provide extracurricular activities for learning about Korean culture, besides regular Korean language classes. New England Korean School offers danso, musicals, fencing classes, and Rhode Island Korean School offers Samulnori classes. Oori Bburi Korean School teaches kayaking and archery. The Worcester Korean School offers a Korean Culture Camp. North Boston Korean School provides multimedia classes with computers, and Joen Ddang Korean School provides free private musical instrument lessons.