Dr Han Sik Shim
Dr Han Sik Shim

National Institute of Lifelong Education (NILE), Korea


2008 ~ present

Director of Korea National Institute for Lifelong Education

2011 ~ 2012

Assistant Secretary for Social Integration, Office of the President

2006 ~ 2008

Senior Researcher, Human Resource Research Center at Seoul National University

Topic: Lifelong Learning in Korea: A Case Study

Korea suffered a tragedy of being divided into the North & South and achieved "Miracle on the Han River" without rich natural resources. One of the key factors to enable Korea to overcome these difficulties is the education system. There was a shortage to meet the educational demand of the people. Various educational programs were conducted outside of schools referring to it as "social education". In 1999, the 「Lifelong Education Act」 was enacted.

Korea established NILE according to the article 19, Paragraph 1 of the Lifelong Education Act to support the tasks related to the promotion of lifelong education, and established the National Institute for Lifelong Education of the Disabled according to the Article 19, Paragraph 2 of the Lifelong Education Act to support the tasks related to the promotion of lifelong education for the disabled.

A governor also establishes directly or designated, metropolitan cities and provincial institutes for Lifelong Education according to the Article 20, Paragraph 1. Superintendents of education of Metropolitan cities and provinces are operating Lifelong education centers by establishing directly, or designation, in order to offer lifelong educational opportunities for local residents. The mayor establishes lifelong education centers, and support of funding (Article 21, Paragraph 2), to promote lifelong education.

For the promotion of lifelong education, Korea operates a national certification program, a Lifelong Learning Educator according to the Article 4, and stipulates that such an educator is placed at lifelong education institutions under the Article 26, Paragraph 1.

Previously, a lifelong education institution carried out lifelong education programs planning, progress, analysis, and evaluation without having lifelong learning educator placed under the Article 24, Paragraph 2.

However, as lifelong education promotion projects have become the administration of the national and local governments while the lifelong learning educator is operated as a national certification program, the lifelong education institute is obliged to place lifelong learning educators so that they can better dedicate themselves to the task.

In Korea, the government can designate and support lifelong learning cities for metropolitan cities, counties, and boroughs for the promotion of lifelong education according to the Article 15, Paragraph 1.

Lifelong learning cities are cities that emphasize lifelong learning in urban management, and there are 167 lifelong learning cities in Korea as of 2019.

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