[Letter to the editor]School must not make students docile

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[Letter to the editor]School must not make students docile

What could be more important to a high school student than to have auspicious prospects for being admitted to a prestigious university and a dazzling future career?
As the college admissions process draws near, I am reminded of an article that I recently read in the New York Times. It told the success story of a young Chinese woman who had the good fortune of getting a Harvard education.
This young woman has a very bold dream of overhauling the Chinese educational system. She made her first big strides toward the realization of her dream when she organized an eye-opening summer program for high school students.
Through this program, the students experienced a more relaxed approach to learning as opposed to the “cramming, compelling and daunting culture” that they endure in school.
Furthermore, they were also made to realize that in order to become globally competitive professionals, they should be culturally integrated into the ever-more dynamic global economy.I believe that Korea, too, would like to produce a pool of globally competitive and talented professionals.
With our present educational system, it may be possible. However, there is a caveat: We are too fact-based.
We need to infuse schools’ curriculums with something that will promote and enhance the creative minds of students.
I also think that students should be more exposed to the outside world rather than kept within the four walls of a classroom to study for long hours.
Students should not only be armed with the knowledge that they acquire through the hundreds of textbook pages that they memorize. They should also be holistically developed in order to fit the culture of this modern era.
Being culturally fit means that students should not only be academically competent, but also socially adept.
As an offshoot of globalization and oversupply in the workforce at present, multinational companies are using a new set of standards in hiring employees. They are no longer satisfied with educational attainment and language proficiency alone.
They are rather more concerned about practical experience and the capacity of a job-seeker to be a team player.
With this knowledge in mind, I am wondering where my college education will lead me.
The Korean educational system, from my modest experience, is indeed exhausting and stressful.
However, I will not let this ordeal erode my curiosity to experience a more globally competitive education, one that goes beyond the realm of science, mathematics and English,that promotes critical thinking rather than test-centered exams, that hones the social awareness and involvement of students. Education must not end up making them docile.
Hye-Jun Yoon, a senior at Daeil Foreign Language High School
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