Seodaemun-gu, Republic of Korea

  • City population: 
  • City/Urban area: 
  • Population Density: 
    More than 500 inhabitants per km²
  • GDP – city: 
    More than USD 25,000
  • GDP - country: 
    USD$ 27,538
  • Average number of years of schooling: 

Bringing lifelong learning opportunities to small urban communities

Seodaemun-gu initiated its lifelong learning policy in 2008; in 2013, it was selected by the Republic of Korea to become a learning city. A recent influx of people into the Newtown area calls for better integration with existing residents.

Vision and Motivation

Seodaemun-gu is a suburban area with 30 million people. The city has nine universities, and 34 per cent of the population participates in lifelong learning programmes. Around 30,000 people are illiterate, however, and because of a sudden influx of residents into the Newton area, projects to foster integration are much needed. Through its lifelong learning programmes, Seodaemun-gu hopes to integrate residents, thereby helping them escape social isolation and urban poverty.

Challenges and Goals

The city hopes to implement lifelong learning for all by:

  • developing lifelong learning and community learning centres;
  • fostering small urban learning communities, known as ‘Se-Ro-Gol-Mok’, to engage all citizens;
  • engaging all citizens in lifelong learning.

Plan and Implementation

Seodaemun-gu has developed a support system of educational resources in the region to expand lifelong learning opportunities. Regulations for literacy and literacy support within small urban communities exist to guide lifelong learning programmes, project management and the community service network.

Seodaemun-gu plans to:

  • Develop a lifelong learning centre to accommodate up to 300,000 people, a town learning centre for 20,000 people, and a community learning centre that will offer small-group classes starting at just five students;
  • Foster small urban learning communities, known as ‘Se-Ro-Gol-Mok’;
  • Improve literacy rate across the country.

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