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Aeres Group will help South Korea to make an international high-tech agricultural school

From 29 till 31 May, a delegation from Aeres Group, led by Mr. Bastiaan Pellikaan, chairman of the Aeres Group, visited South Korea to sign an MOU with the Education Office in Gyeonggi Province, and explore agricultural schools, farms, and research institutes in the region. Through the MOU, the Gyeonggi Education Office will ask the Aeres Group to develop a curriculum for Yeoju Agricultural High School/College, reform the vocational education system, and send Korean teachers to Aeres to follow trainers' courses. As a result, both organizations will establish a partnership to train Yeoju students in Aeres, renovate facilities in the school, and develop diplomas along the standards of the Aeres Group. The final goal is to make an Aeres-style international school/college for Korea, East Asia, and Southeast Asia.

Current situation in Korean agricultural education
The Korean education system consists of a 6-year elementary school (7-12 years old), a 3-year middle school (13-15 years old), a 3-year high school (16-18 years old), and a 2- or 4-year university (from 19 years old). Of course, there are master's and doctoral degrees after graduation from a bachelor's degree.

South Korea also has some agriculture-specialized high schools to train students as farmers and 2-year junior colleges to raise agricultural professionals. However, those high schools and junior colleges lost their original function of training farmers because students prefer general high schools or universities to have good jobs in urban areas. Korean agriculture is relatively underdeveloped compared to other industries. Since the rural income is only 60% of the urban income, the younger generation avoids agriculture. The proposition to enter universities among high school students is around 80%. Not many Korean students choose vocational education to become agricultural farmers/professionals, like VMBO, MBO, or HBO in the Netherlands.

Recently, the Korean government has been trying to attract the younger generation to agriculture. As smart agriculture is becoming a trend in Korea, some university graduates, no matter what they studied in universities, are coming back to rural areas to be farmers, mainly for high-tech horticulture or livestock husbandry. However, they need vocational training to be proper farmers. It is a waste of time and energy in the respect that most of the education in universities is not that useful to them.


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