The people of South Korea have proven that education and employment do not have to take a backseat during these unprecedented times as they participate in outdoor exams while following strict SOPs.
Over one hundred individuals sat 5 metres away from each other in a football field that has now been designated as an exam centre by a public corporation . While some did express difficulty taking the exam in cold outdoor temperatures, they were still grateful they were able to participate at all.
The national examination for insurance agents took place on a football field Saturday in the school yard of Seokyeong University in Seoul, South Korea. Amid COVID-19 protection, test takers sat more than 10 feet apart from each other.
“There was an urgent need for the test takers to receive the insurance planner certificates in order to make a living, so further delays were canceled. We rushed to announce the schedule just a week ahead of the exam,” Ahn Sungyong from the General Insurance Association of Korea.
In addition to being seated apart from others, all participants had their temperature checked and masks were mandatory during the hourlong exam period. Desks and chairs were disinfected during recess. The association even formed a hotline to the closest COVID-19 test site just in case anyone showed symptoms of fever or coughing.
Safety measures were put in place, but it was up to the applicants to endure the weather.
“Although it was not too windy, it was still cold to fully focus on the exam.” Yoo Jeong-wook, a 32-year-old applicant.
“I have long-waited to take tests since February, but unfortunately the exam was delayed for almost three months now. I just feel thankful that I had the chance to take the exam although it was cold during the test,” Jung Sung-il, who said insurance planning was his dream job.
It was the first time since the examination began in 1972 that it took place outdoors in a field. Across the country, over 20,000 people applied for the exam this weekend.
South Korea is a living example of how the world has to change in order to move forward and progress in times of a deadly pandemic. Life cannot come to a complete standstill and we must adapt to this new world and ensure our safety simultaneously.