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Are Phones Allowed in Korean School?

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Last updated:

South Korean students are not allowed to use phones. If they want to, professors can forbid students from using phones in their classrooms and limit a student’s phone calls to emergency only.

Phones are considered a distraction. Korean teachers have the option to take away and lock up phones if students use them during class. Because of this, many teachers find ways of disarming cellphones like applications. 

Students must give their teachers remote access to their phones to restrict students’ applications in school. Teachers can also turn students’ cell phones off remotely using phone applications.

What Are the Rules of Korean Schools?

The South Korean education system is very strict, so there are many rules. Educators are required to teach students according to a strict, standardized curriculum. There is no deviation or creativity when it comes to teaching.

Students must follow all rules from elementary through high school, including dress code and mandatory study hours. 

Basic rules of all schools located in South Korea include:

  • Dress code requirements
  • Tutoring and study hour requirements
  • Mandatory attendance requirements

All schools have different rules and repercussions for breaking them. In many schools, the repercussions for breaking the rules are disciplinary punishments. Penalties can become more serious, too, like expulsions and fines. However, the strictness of the discipline has decreased immensely.

At one point, South Korean teachers largely enforced corporal punishment until many people complained about how often it was being used. Physical abuse is now illegal. However, some parents tolerate it.

A teacher who uses physical abuse in their classes is likely to eventually be removed from the education system once their class is reported.

How Are Phones Allowed in Korean School System?

Cell phones are not allowed in the South Korean school system in any way. Several countries have found helpful ways to integrate cell phones into their classroom.

However, South Korean teachers cannot include cellular devices in their daily teaching because it goes against the basic curriculum.

Can South Korean Students Dye Hair?

Students are not allowed to dye their hair anything but their usual color. In some uniform policies, there may only be several hair stylings available.

Most uniform policies prohibit students from dying their hair because it disrupts the uniformity of the school uniforms.

Any hairstyles or colors outside of these selections are breaking the uniform policy.

Hair is not the only thing limited according to the uniform policy. Uniform policies limit many body jewelry, accessories, and other kinds of individuality.

The purpose of the school uniform is to have one consistent look. Adding accessories and hair color makes the group less uniform.

Do Korean Schools Allow Makeup?

Korean schools do not allow anyone to wear makeup, student or teacher. At some schools, teachers do morning inspections to confirm that students are not wearing any makeup to school. 

Makeup is against the school uniform. Wearing makeup is unethical, and anyone that is caught wearing makeup will be issued a punishment. Rule breakers must wipe the makeup clean from their face before continuing their day.

Do Schools in Korea Have PE? 

Schools have physical education, but PE is not a mandatory school subject in late schooling years. After tenth grade, physical education becomes optional to teenagers. Teachers do not promote PE, and there is a lack of interest in physical education in the Korean schooling curriculum.

Physical education is taking a back burner because of inadequate teachers, lack of equipment, and poor facilities. There is a general lack of care for physical education in the country.

What is School Like in South Korea?

School in South Korea is rigorous, and many people can find studying at this degree challenging if they have never faced such a challenging obstacle.

The reason school is so challenging is because of how difficult class is in Korea. A teacher may have no input on what they are teaching, and therefore they cannot accommodate the content for struggling learners.

The rules in Korea are strict, and Koreans are limited in what they are allowed to do and wear. H are limited to their amount of socialization. They are also limited to the amount they can express themselves physically, socially, and emotionally.

Can Students Date in High School?

Most co-ed high schools forbid a student from dating their schoolmates. Teachers consider dating a distraction from education, so they will reprimand students who get caught dating by punishing them like study hours, volunteer work, and more. 

A student who gets caught dating in secrecy by a teacher may also be expelled if the dating persists and negatively influences their studies.

Even with the repercussions in mind, many teenagers continue to date in secrecy. Same-sex schools are not exempt from dating problems. Teenagers still meet other teens at public places, during holiday vacations, or through after-school programs.

How Many Hours Do Korean Students Sleep?

On average, teenagers sleep for around 7 hours per night. The amount of sleep that a student gets varies as they get older. In the elementary school years, children sleep an average of eight hours.

In middle school, Korean children will sleep for around seven hours, and in high school, six hours.

Teenagers sleep an average of three hours less than Canadian teens and four hours less than American teens. The changing sleep schedule is because of the increase in responsibility.

Teenagers taught responsibility and time management early on are likely to have better sleep habits.

Do Korean Students Have Free Time?

Korean students do not have much free time in their daily routine. They get multiple breaks on the school grounds throughout their long days at school. Two vacations are also permitted throughout the year.

As they go from middle school to high school, they take on more duties and their days become longer. Because of their packed schedule, high schoolers often have little time to participate in recreational activities that are not school-related.

The average day of a high schooler lasts from 8 AM until 4 PM consisting of direct instruction, studying, and private tutoring sessions.

Many high schoolers will also stay after class for additional studying or tutoring sessions. These additional tutoring sessions can last anywhere from 10 PM to midnight. Because of their packed schedule, there is little time for taking up hobbies outside of school.

High schoolers have regular breaks between semesters called summer and winter breaks. The first break extends from March through July, and the second goes from September to February. Students are offered ten optional half days at the end of their winter break.


Education is taken seriously in South Korea, so distractions like cell phones and dating are removed from the classroom. With distractions gone, the teacher believes that everyone in the class has an equal opportunity to prosper. 

The Korean education system is strict but has become more lenient over the years. Years ago, physical discipline was a common form of punishment for teachers.

Luckily, corporal punishment has been prohibited under the Child Welfare Act, so the amount of physical abuse in classrooms is limited. Teachers use healthier means of discipline in classes like academic penalties and after-school suspension.

Teachers do not have much input on the curriculum, but they control eliminating harmful, technological distractions like cell phones. In South Korea, the autonomy is limited with the originality students have, including their hair, style, and the hobbies they can pick up. Fortunately, the education they receive is like no other. 

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    About The Author

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    Jason Park

    Jason has been living in Seoul for over 4 years, and during that time, he has experienced many of the city's hidden stores. He loves to write about his experiences and share them with others. Jason has been quoted and referenced by different major media companies like Mashed, Distractify, ThePrint and TastingTable. In his free time, he likes to watch Korean dramas and learn more about Korean culture.

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