Institute of East and West Studies • Yonsei University

Research News

Article about government scholarship students wriiten by Lee ho-chul
  • 관리자
  • |
  • 267
  • |
  • 2019-09-16 09:21:21

Meaningful lessons from the story of government scholarship students/ Lee Ho Chul


 

 

In 1895, King Gojong had promulgated 'Hongbum 14' in Jongmyo with the royal family and the civil and military officials. In Article 1, it announced that Joseon is an independent country, and declared the separation of royal and state affairs, tax collection by law, restrictions on local management, and enactment of civil and criminal laws to protect the lives and property of the citizen. ‘Hongbum 14’, considered as the first constitution in Korea, included Article 11, "Let young qualified people go abroad to learn academic knowledge and crafts" and Article 14, "Recruit a wide range of talented people regardless of the status system." It was eventually the declaration of the change of Chosun into a modern state.


In addition, there was a plan for human resource development in 1895. The government selected 150 students sponsored by the government to be sent to Keio Institution in Japan. It was one of the biggest national project that allocated one-third of the Education budget for students studied abroad. 113 of the students went to Tokyo on April 26 in the same year. However, against all expectations, they were not utilized as the frontier of Korean Modernization, and Chosun lost its own opportunity to change.

 

There is a novel named ‘Nakjo’ written by Park Taewon, which talks about the first government sponsored student. In his novel, the education of the students was taken care under Yukichi Fukuzawa, the founder of Keio Institution. At that moment, this institution was educating the young people with Japanese modernization and Western science knowledge. When Korean students were asked about what they study for, all of them answered to ‘work of the government’.

 

Fukuzawa was disappointed on their answers since he thought farmers, craftsmen, and merchants are the most important factor to make a wealthier nation among the four vocations (scholars, farmers, craftsmen and merchants (Sanongongsang)), however all the students responded to be a scholar who works for the country.  


While they were studying at the institution, the political situation occurred back in Korea and the current government fell down. The students who were sent by that government were concerned to be considered as “students sent by traitors” Therefore, more than half of them left their studies behind and hurried back to Korea.

 

The fortunate part of this program, however, was that the students who were dreaming to work for the government decided to find their own way. They chose their career path into more practical way such as engineering, agriculture, medical science, economics etc. The new government had not hired any of them who studied back from Japan for the higher positions.

 

However, they have done their own job in terms of modernizing Korea. For instance, it was the first students studied abroad with government scholarship, such as Yoo Seung-gum and Shin Hae-young, who introduced Western economics first time in Korea.

A similar thing happened in 1881. A group of Kim Yoon-Sik was sent to China to learn Western advanced knowledge as well as an advanced weapon manufacturing technology. However, 69 students from the group left their studies behind and came back to Korea due to the political situation in Korea. They made a commitment to build a weapon factory, however the changed government didn’t fully utilized them further.

 

Government changes. However, human resource is a far-sighted national asset. The government should not line up the talented and vice versa. It is a meaningful lesson from history that we should not select people by political situation but fully utilized their knowledge for its own sake.

 

http://www.kookje.co.kr/news2011/asp/newsbody.asp?code=1700&key=20190128.22026010984 

 

PREV [Tongyeong RCE Project] Long-term Operation Planning Research: Based on Tongyeong RCE Cesatra Forest
NEXT Article about Japan wriiten by Lee ho-chul
비밀번호 입력
비밀번호
확인
비밀번호 입력
비밀번호
확인