[LETTERS TO THE EDITORS]Time to fix school systemHaving read the May 6 article “Minister sees school plans moving ahead,” I am outraged at Education Minister Kim Jin-pyo’s new educational policy that seeks to place undue emphasis on high school grades for college entrance. Since the announcement of this new plan, the ghastly pale and worried faces of the 10th graders at my own high school have underscored the fierce competition and intense cramming that will result.
Such changes will be nothing but counterproductive and will exacerbate an already ailing and cutthroat educational system. Several students have committed suicide just in the past month because of poor grades. Hundreds of others contemplate suicide due to the tremendous pressure. Despite all the well-meaning intentions behind this policy, the change in the system will not come close to achieving its primary goal of increasing the quality of public education, as the number of private academic institutes is skyrocketing.
With the abysmal failures of our education system becoming more obvious every year, I wonder where South Korea’s schools are heading. It’s high time to fix the education system for the better, not to make matters worse. It’s time to free students from the everyday nightmares of cutthroat competition. It’s time to re-evaluate the true purpose of education. Can the education minister at least do that much?
by Lee Yoon-jae