[EDITORIALS]Educational confusionWe are concerned at potential headaches that could arise from the government-proposed lectures over the Korea Educational Broadcasting System’s cable TV network and the Internet. They are designed for students preparing for the College Scholastic Ability Test. The Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development, which said the plan would save parents money on private education, still does not have its act together and the launch date is approaching.
It is vital to allow the 1.6 million students who will take the exam to watch the lectures whenever they want. That may not happen. First of all, the capacity of the servers the EBS relies on is less than 120,000 connections at a time. If there is a rush of Internet connections, the servers will crash. Students in rural areas where there is no cable television would have to rely on satellite broadcasts for the lectures.
Moreover, almost half of the nation’s high school seniors’ classrooms are not equipped with the broadband Internet lines necessary for watching the EBS lectures. Although the ministry is trying hard to persuade education offices of provinces and cities to speed up the installation of high-speed Internet lines, time is short. If the lectures do not start smoothly due to such problems, the on-campus extracurricular classes planned in connection with the lectures will be disrupted. Students will rush to cram schools again.
This is slipshod administration. The ministry presented the plan on Feb. 17 as a part of measures to cope with high private education costs. But it did not think of several problems like the above. The ministry boasted that it had succeeded in recruiting highly-qualified lecturers, but we are not yet confident of their competitiveness. While online education outlets operated by private interests employ more than one lecturer per subject so that students can have a choice, EBS lectures rely on one lecturer per subject.
All this has happened because the ministry tried to solve everything in a month and a half. If things continue like this, the EBS lectures will add to private education costs, not lower them. The educational authorities must exert their utmost effort to provide high-quality lectures without fail.