[EDITORIALS]Education is in disarrayA principal of a high school who accepted money from a student’s parent directed a teacher to boost the student’s grade. A teacher who was treated with luxury entertainment by a student’s parent smuggled out test papers or corrected answer papers and gave awards to students who deserved nothing. A university admissions director smuggled out test papers to help his son gain admittance to his college department. With education in Korea so tattered, it is difficult to know where to begin to look for a cure.
We believe only few teachers and parents who falsified school records. The majority of students are still studying hard and sacrificing their sleep to get better marks. There must be a much larger number of teachers who take pains to give fair evaluations of students’ grades.
However, the cheating on the College Scholastic Ability Test and the falsification of school records by teachers that were exposed late last year left deep wounds in the hearts of good students. How absurd it is that a teacher copies, for another student, the answer papers of a student who studied hard. If a student’s position in his class dropped because other students’ marks were trumped up by teachers, how unfair it was for the student. If the practice of cheating on school records goes on, it is not possible to implement a university admission system that will depend mainly on school records, starting from the 2008 school year. Who would take such school records seriously? Parents will intervene more over school records and controversy over the records will never end. And universities will lower the weight school records have in the admission process because it will be difficult to evaluate students with inflated or fabricated grades.
When school marks lose credibility, how can school records be accepted as admission criterion? It will only heighten distrust of the university admission process. What matters is how to restore credibility to school records. The Education Ministry’s answer is banning teachers from proctoring. But that can’t solve the problem. Senior educators whipped their own legs in an act of penance, but it did not work. We have to improve the qualifications and moral standards of our teachers. Through a teacher evaluation system, unqualified teachers should be driven out and a large-scale cleanup of the education community should be launched.