[Letter to the editor]Don’t accept new admissions policyWhile negotiating with 150 college presidents, President Roh has emphasized the importance of equality. He has claimed that “an equal chance to all students is not only morally right, but increases Korea’s competitiveness.”
However, the new plan the Education Ministry announced on June 26 seems to contradict President Roh’s words and the Constitution.
The plan basically helps underprivileged students by obliging universities to accept 11 percent of them. This obviously goes against the Constitution, which requires “equal opportunity.”
First, there are two definitions of equality. One is absolute equality, which is giving the same status, rights and responsibilities to all members of a society or group. The other is relative equality, which requires consideration in relation with other things. For example, if a 3-year-old boy and a 19-year-old girl race, the 3-year-old boy’s start line should be far ahead of the girl’s, considering the different physiques of the two.
I believe the Education Ministry thought that students from poor households, single parent families and international marriages should get special admission because of their relative inequality.
Yes, it is true these students do not have the same opportunity to go to private institutes or academies as others due to their low income. However, giving them special status actually makes the 3-year-old boy start right in front of the finish line. It goes far beyond ordinary considerations. It is also unfair and unequal to ordinary students.
Also, the new plan will hinder the competence of the universities. For instance, even if an underprivileged student is not qualified, a university must eventually choose him because of its quota system. It is ineffective both for the student and the university.
The student would have a hard time catching up with the school studies and the university has to lose numerous prestigious students by selecting underprivileged ones. This new policy not only discriminates against ordinary students, but it is a burden on the universities. To make South Korea a more competent country, the government should make a more practical and efficient policy that does not hinder the universities’ rights.
Lee Kang-eun, a senior at Ewha Girls’ Foreign Language High School