SEOUL, May 27 (Korea Bizwire) — Most fourth-grade students at elementary schools own a smartphone and 16 percent of them are addicted to smartphones or the internet, a survey showed Thursday.
The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family conducted a nationwide survey of 1.2 million students including fourth-graders from elementary schools, first-year students from middle schools and freshmen from high schools, which showed that 18.5 percent were exposed to the risk of addiction to the internet and/or smartphones.
Among fourth-grade students, 16 percent (71,262 students) faced a risk of addiction. With a growing number of enrolled students, the number of students at risk increased by 5,488 compared to two years ago.
Students in their first year of middle school were most likely to be addicted to the internet and/or smartphones at 20.5 percent (86,342 students).
Among high school freshmen, 19.3 percent (78,083 students) were addicted to the internet and/or smartphones.
The growth rate of addiction among middle-school and high-school students was slightly lower than in elementary schools, most likely due to the dwindling number of enrolled students.
At 96.5 percent (430,314 students), the vast majority of all fourth-graders said they owned a smartphone.
The ministry has expressed concern that younger people are being exposed to a growing risk of addiction to the internet and/or smartphone use.
H. M. Kang (email@example.com)