[EDITORIALS]New college admission rules

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[EDITORIALS]New college admission rules

The final version of the college admissions policy for 2008 and onward was announced yesterday. The intention is to decrease the weight of the College Scholastic Ability Test and increase that of high school records. It is a good thing that the new system has maintained the nine-rank system instead of decreasing the number of ranks, as equal opportunity advocates have lobbied for. But to put the first-place student and the 24,000th-ranked student in the same category is to weaken the differentiation ability of the entry test. And by ignoring the academic differences among high schools, the differentiation of high school records is also weak. And it is in this atmosphere that universities must select their students.
It is frustrating, but the ball has now passed to the high schools and universities. Despite the numerous restrictions, colleges must assess and select students. If high schools and universities cannot come up with an admissions model that will be acceptable for all, the college admissions process will be thrown into great confusion. High schools must accurately record the school records of the students so that the potential of the students can be assessed. Not only academic grades but also special abilities, volunteer activities and other elements must be included in the school records.
Teachers must clarify the standards for learning and assessments to maintain credibility and fairness in school records. The education ministry said it would make the principals of school responsible for grade management, but this alone cannot give credibility. The teachers’ assessment system, which was cancelled due to objections by the Korea Teachers’ and Education Workers’ Union, must be introduced. Incompetent teachers and teachers who make bogus school records must be discredited, and hardworking, competent teachers given credit. Teaching workloads must also be reduced.
Colleges must develop diverse admissions elements. They must discern superior students through school records. They must develop creative admissions policies and introduce the concept of competition. High school rankings, college entrance exams administered by colleges, and admissions by donation must all be at the discretion of the universities.
If education is tied to egalitarian principles, it is impossible for us to maintain talent that will compete in this world.

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