South Korean programs to fight student Internet addiction, online gambling

The South Korean government has revealed its new plan to prevent Internet addiction as well as online gambling in the nation's student population. The plan includes providing educational materials, group counseling, and one day per week where students can't use the Internet for recreational purposes.

The Ministry of Information and Communication will offer education on healthy Internet use to approximately 200,000 students from 600 schools across the country, which is double the amount the ministry currently offers.

In addition to educational materials, professional counselors will visit schools to measure the overall degree of Internet addiction among students. Group counseling will be offered six times a year to those close to the danger of addiction.

Twenty schools have also voluntarily adopted a "no-internet day" during which students won't be allowed to use the Internet for recreation one day per week. This will affect 17,000 students.

The Ministry of Information and Communication plans to team up with the ministries of Education and Human Resources, Culture and Tourism, and the Youth Protection Committee to promote various contests, recreational activities, and campaigns to give students an alternative to Internet use for recreation.

This student campaign is just the latest move in South Korea's efforts to curb the increase in online gambling in the nation. The government recently blocked access to 54 online gambling sites starting Sept. 1, after blocking access to 128 sites from January to August this year.

Related article: South Korea Targets Illegal Gambling.

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