[EDITORIALS]Careful with the preferences

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[EDITORIALS]Careful with the preferences

An Internet debate over whether it is right or wrong to give 10 extra points on various state examinations and employment examinations to war veterans and democratic activists who fought the authoritarian regimes and their descendants is becoming heated.
Those who are against the policy say that it is reverse discrimination, which limits the choice of jobs for ordinary people because of special favors to the “state-merit” earners.
The state-merit earners argue, however, that it is only right that they are treated favorably because they have dedicated their lives to the nation and the people.
The debate began early this year when the government announced a revised law on special treatment and support for state-merit earners, which included provisions for extra points to be given to qualifying applicants for public and private school teaching posts.
In the past, bonus points were given to state-merit earners who were applying for jobs at government bodies, the military and public and private corporations and groups. The Constitutional Court has already said it was legitimate to give extra points to those people, but it has been learned that more than half of those who applied to take the national middle school teacher employment examination early next month qualified for the bonus points. The national teachers employment examination is a highly competitive one, where a difference of 0.1 or 0.2 points can be crucial. At one education office, more than 280 people applied for two art teacher positions. Among them, 10 were state-merit earners, so the competition is mostly among those people.
To help war veterans have stable lives, adequate education and employment opportunities are universal goals, found in many other countries. But the scope of benefits for this policy must be reasonable so that all in a society concur. Benefits that deprive ordinary applicants of opportunities will only result in sense of incompatibility and frustration among the general public.
We must take care of state-merit earners, but we must not limit the rights of other citizens. We need to review and modify the policy of allotting extra points in examinations to state merit earners.
Instead of uniformly applying such a policy, we must come up with measures to make the awarding of those bonus points more selective.
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