In a surprising trend, YouTube has become a platform for high school dropouts to share their experiences, garnering increasing attention from teenage viewers. These young vloggers not only document their daily lives post-dropout but also take viewers through the decision-making process, from informing parents to celebrating a last-day-of-school party with classmates.
Teen dropout: Share, View, and Seek Guidance
According to The Korean Herald reports, "I decided to vlog about my dropout experiences because I wanted people to have a better understanding of (the process)," expressed YouTuber Park Jun-a in one of her videos. Several high school dropouts have followed suit, with some videos amassing up to 9 million views. Positive comments flood on these videos.
Curiosity seems to be a driving force for viewers like Lee Chae-won, a 16-year-old high school student, who shared, "Studying in school is the only kind of life I know." She watches these vlogs not with the intention to drop out but to explore life beyond the classroom.
Notably, some students seek advice from these vloggers before making the decision to drop out. In response, YouTubers address their questions and concerns through Q&A videos.
High School Dropout Rates on the Rise
Recent data from the Ministry of Education and Korean Educational Development Institute reveals a concerning trend. The dropout rate for high school students has steadily increased, reaching 1.9 percent in 2022, up from 1.1 percent in 2020.
Experts attribute this rise to the limitations of the public education system. Professor Park Joo-ho of Hanyang University’s Department of Education emphasizes the need to amend the system, stating, "The public school system must be amended so that the individual characteristics of students can be utilized in a pluralistic society." He advocates for developing an educational system that fosters critical thinking skills beyond textbook learning.