[EDITORIALS]Fixing educational television

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[EDITORIALS]Fixing educational television

It’s been a month since the preparatory lessons for the college entrance exam were first broadcast on EBS television. More than 740,000 students have registered for these lessons and the number of downloads of the lessons on the channel’s Web site has reached over 2.1 million.
From the numbers alone, the EBS lessons seem to have established their place as a major preparatory method for high school seniors planning to take the college entrance exam.
However, the academic level of the lessons is lower than most students would like, and there are complaints about the slow progress.
It would be regrettable if these lessons were slipshod. A number of students who take the EBS lessons complain that the lessons are not as good as the ones they could get in hagwon, private educational institutes, and that some of the lessons weren’t even worth viewing.
Before the public education channel began the lessons, it had advertised them as being taught by some of the most popular teachers working at famous hagwon in Seoul. If students complain that the lessons are too easy and return to the hagwon, the lessons must be reoriented immediately.
The biggest problem with such lessons is that students cannot ask questions immediately when they do not understand something. Then they lose interest. The lessons should allow students to ask questions through e-mail or telephone, and there should be an offline support system.
The broadcasts were a measure to lessen the financial burden on parents of private education. We should not have students returning to hagwons in search of a better education.
The Education Ministry, EBS and other education authorities should not ignore the complaints of the students but actively encourage their participation in making the lessons better.
As Education Ministry officials have already announced, the trial entrance exam that will be held nationwide next month will include the contents of the broadcast lessons. Now that they’ve begun in earnest, we must do our best to ensure the success of the broadcasts in hopes that they help households lessen their spending on private education.
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