By Kevin Lee
Education Mecca Osan City is making another big leap forward with 'Eduverse'.
Eduverse, a compound word of education and metaverse, is a branding strategy of Osan City to be reborn as a new city.
It means that people and things interact in a space where virtual and reality converge, and actively lead the creation of educational values.
It highlights the efforts, achievements and future blueprints of Osan City, which has been recognized as a representative city of lifelong education beyond public education as Korea's representative educational city.
From a barren land to education mecca in Korea
Since the inauguration of Mayor Kwak Sang-wook of Osan City in the 5th popular election in 2010, the city of Osan made 'education' as a core keyword for municipal administration and promoted it.
Before, Osan was a barren land for education. In fact, by the time elementary school children reach 4th or 6th grade, five out of ten generations left Osan.
In response, Mayor Kwak filled half of his promises with education and fulfilled all of his promises.
During this period, the city promoted the discovery and connection of educational resources suitable for the region as the main body of education, not the role of the local government to simply support the budget.
It has been recognized as a trusted educational support by schools and parents, and has been broadly linked to the local economic ecosystem.
As a result, the 'Innovative Education Season 1' project was successful, followed by 'Innovative Education Season 2' with the goal of realizing a happy education for students, schools, residents and the local community.
An official from the city explained, "The features of Osan City is that all educational support is provided within the school curriculum rather than individually outside the school, so that you can directly feel the richness of learning other than textbooks."
Results of 12 years of investment in education
In the first season of innovative education, Osan City introduced the following projects -- △Mulhyanggi School △Activation of discussion class culture △Citizen Participation School △Dream Search Mentor School △Parent Study △U.S. Soldier English Conversation △Lifelong Learning Delivery Course Run and Run △Student Club (Oasis) Support △Hanultari Together Support for Saturday School △Survival Swimming △Early Bird Program △National Student Debate Competition △Education of One Musical Instrument for One Student △Miri Tomorrow School.
In particular, the Citizen Participation School, an experiential learning program, drew attention from the start.
Environmental, historical and cultural contents scattered throughout the city hall and city council, Osancheon Stream, Mulhyanggi Arboretum, Doksanseong Fortress, and Gwollisa Temple were used as visiting schools.
The number of visiting schools, which started with nine, has continued to expand and has now grown to about 40.
The 'Survival Swimming' program, which Osan City tried for the first time in the country in 2013, was also adopted as a regular subject in the third grade of elementary school from 2015 in the wake of the Sewol ferry disaster the following year.
“Innovative education season 2” was promoted with the goal of realizing a happy education for students and schools, residents and the community together.
Osan City has activated such educational projects as △ Vitalization of Osan counseling culture △ School festival and village festival △ One student jumping rope △ Osan Dream School △ One foreign language △ Osan Future Education Civic Meeting △ School space innovation Byeolbyeol Forest Project △ Osan-type high school credit system △ Visiting Maker Classroom △ Maker free grade system △ Osan Village Education Community launch △ Support for the establishment of future schools based on edutech.
Thanks to these efforts, in 2018, Osan City was certified as a “UNICEF Child-Friendly City” for the first time among local governments in Gyeonggi-do.
New educational vision 'Eduverse' combined with future food
The goal of the city is to go one step further from 'AI Education City' to 'Eduverse'. As the city’s innovative education attempts over the past decade have taken root, a new vision of an educational city combined with future food is being prepared.
The three major promotion strategies of Eduverse are 'image preoccupation', 'spreading' and 'advanced'.
First, it plans to expand education-based city branding and revitalize the Eduverse platform ecosystem by preempting Eduverse keywords.
In addition, it seeks ways to realize the value of the Eduverse community by nurturing Eduverse talents and expanding the base.
The advent of a non-face-to-face society due to the novel COVID-19 infection has been a catalyst.
In a non-face-to-face world where all information is created and used online, technical knowledge, such as skillfully handling various IT devices and creating programs, is considered to be the basic knowledge for leaders who will live in the era of the 4th industrial revolution.
Mayor Kwak Sang-wook said, "As the last journey of my 12 years of local administration, I would like to present Eduverse as a blueprint of the education office.
He promised, “We will upgrade the education brand of Osan City with Eduverse and do our best to ensure that there is no shortage of creative talents.”