[EDITORIALS]An education revolution

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[EDITORIALS]An education revolution

Japan’s world-renowned Toyota Motor Corporation has established a junior high school modeled after Eaton School of Britain. In 2008, the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education plans to establish an international high school in the Jongno district and a science high school in the Guro district. The Busan Metropolitan Office of Education is implementing a variety of supplementary educational programs: supplementary lessons at all levels, tutoring for students with poor records, cross-registration between high schools and universities, second-foreign-language classes at universities and support for reading.
There is a consensus that Korea will fall behind if it follows the central government’s egalitarian educational policy. And so private institutions and provincial educational offices are initiating an education revolution.
It should be obvious why a leading Japanese company has decided to educate the next generation of elites on its own. The future of a nation depends on the quality of the elites that will lead that country in a variety of different fields. How to nurture such talents should be a topic of national discussion.
Under the egalitarian system, excellent talents can’t develop. It is a system that nurtures average citizens. They can become good citizens, but they can’t become elites. And one genius, as it is said, can feed 100,000 people.
Educational reform is not to be expected under the present government. Like the educational offices in Seoul and Busan, other provincial and metropolitan educational offices must exercise autonomy. Superintendents have the right to decide whether to implement or discard the egalitarian system. Moreover, they have the right to start independent high schools. They must exercise their rights without prejudice.
More creative educational programs, which help excellent students do better and provide additional help to students who make little progess, should be developed. More special purpose high schools and independent private high schools must be established, and private companies should be encouraged to set up schools. There is no need to be mindful of the left-leaning teachers union, or the civic groups that call for egalitarianism.

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