North Korea faces declining birth rates and student numbers
As the birth rate in North Korea continues to decline, some elementary schools in the country are merging with middle schools in the rural, coastal, island, mining and mountainous areas. This is due to a drastic decline in elementary school enrollments and because teachers generally avoid working in rural areas. In many cases, elementary school students have to be sent to middle schools instead.
“Even just 10 years ago, elementary and middle schools were separate from each other and had a set number of students each, but now elementary schools are merging with middle schools,” said a Ryanggang Province-based source on January 31.
Some areas of the country have teachers taking on both elementary and middle school curricula, such as in Ryanggang Province’s Samsu County, Posong-ri.
“There are only 15-20 students in one particular elementary school in Samsu County,” the source continued. “People now are generally content with having one child, but the environment for raising kids here is not great, so it’s likely that many more will choose not to have kids in the future.”
North Korea’s birth rate continues to decline. According to Statistics Korea’s “2018 Major North Korean Statistical Indicators,” the country had a combined birth rate of only 1.89 from 2015 to 2020 (the average number of children expected to be born per woman of child-bearing age). ......