South Korea grounds all planes, bans trucks as students sit for college exam
As more than 600,000 students sat the high-stakes annual college entrance exam, South Korean authorities managed to keep silence by banning heavy trucks, and businesses to open late. The entrance exam, according to media reports, would define their future in the ultra-competitive country.
Government offices, major businesses and even Seoul’s stock market opened an hour later than usual at 10:00 am so to ensure the 606, 000 students arrive on time for the exam.
Success in the exam – which teenage South Koreans spend years preparing for – means a place in one of the elite colleges seen as key to future career and even marriage prospects.
The report said, transport authorities ban all airport landings and take-offs for a 30-minute period in the early afternoon to coincide with the main language listening test. Construction works has also been suspended and large trucks banned from the roads near the test venues.
The exam, which is being taken at 1,183 venues nationwide at about 9:00am (0000 GMT), ends today evening.
With so much at stake, thousands of parents have flocked to temples and churches to pray, with monks and pastors holding special sessions for students.
The pressure to score well in the exam has been blamed for teenage depression and suicide rates that are among the highest in the world.