Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun sought public understanding and support ahead of the start of the new school year this week through online distance learning amid concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.
At a meeting with reporters on Wednesday, Chung said while online-only education will be a new challenge for the country, participants should face it with optimism, and not with fear and pessimism.
Chung said online distance learning was the best alternative to guarantee students' right to education.
The prime minister said he hopes the experience will provide an opportunity for the country to overcome the so-called "digital divide" among the South Korean people.
Chung's remarks come in response to public concerns over a lack of infrastructure to back the online system and students' unequal access to the internet.
Distance learning begins on Thursday for third year students at middle and high schools. Other grades will follow in phases from April 16.