[EDITORIALS]Optimism over education planRegarding the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development’s plan to reduce expenditures on private education, eight out of 10 adults in Korea approve. In addition, the majority believes that the ministry’s strategy will likely be effective.
Such an optimistic outlook may stem from the presumption that the approval of supplementary classes, as well as lectures on the internet and the Korea Educational Broadcasting System will conceivably reduce the 13 trillion won spent yearly on private tuition.
It may also encompass the possibility that students who were deprived of private education because of their financial status or regional considerations may now get advanced lectures on the college entrance exam at a moderate price.
The success of the ministry’s plan depends heavily on how frequently famous private tutors participate in the supplementary classes as well as in lectures presented on the Internet and on EBS.
Thus students, who were earlier rushing to private institutions after classes, will take supplementary classes at school or watch preparation lectures for the college entrance exam on television.
In the long run, this strategy will contribute to the normalization of public education.
With the new strategy scheduled to take effect in April, the education ministry is requesting the participation of famous lecturers from private institutions primarily in the Gangnam area in southern Seoul.
A considerable number of private tutors reportedly have volunteered for the lectures, and some of the Web sites on college exam preparation that once charged for their service have volunteered to provide information for free.
Unfortunately, the Korea Association of Hakwon, or private institutions, which may feel a threat from such changes, has taken inappropriate countermeasures.
It is outrageous for the association to send official notification advising member private institutions not to let their tutors appear on EBS or to persuade potential popular tutors privately to turn down EBS.
Private institutions should cooperate in normalizing public education and find a way to assist in achieving this goal.