Things in Korea tend to be done by the book. Sometimes things done at school don’t make sense to me, but it comes down to how it appears. One such example is with the banners. There are banners for everything. Festivals and big events get banners, as do seemingly small things.
I once was shocked at a teachers dinner. The dinner was being hosted by the English department and was to prepare us for a big presentation with the provincial office of education regarding our English program. We got a banner made with the date of the dinner and hung it at the restaurant. My co-teacher made a packet of information about the English program. We got to the dinner and I realized that we were the only people from the English department who would be attending. I helped her pass out the packets to all the other teachers, she asked everyone to look at them while she took a few pictures (being careful to get the banner in the background) and then she collected the packets and we got on with our meal. No one actually read anything or talked about the program. The whole event was for show so we could use the pictures later.
My English camp, which is justifiably a big deal in the amount of time I spend prepping, also gets an English banner. It hangs in the classroom where the 24 students and I can see it. On the last day, my co-teacher removes it and throws it away. This banner costs 44,000 won to have made. That’s about $40. I really wonder how much of the school’s budget is allotted toward banners and what the return on investment on those are.
But, I guess the banner makes everything official. I mean, if there’s an English camp in the woods without a banner, does it even make a sound?