[Letter to the editor]Outdated education system
As a high-school student focused on entering a prestigious college, I have a big concern about our educational system. I have come to realize that Korean students are stuck between “standardization of the education system” and an “academia-based society.” The Korean government should do something about our whole education program. However, it is regrettable that the government has failed to show vision with new education programs or to shed light on how to reform the nation’s outdated education system.
Education reform is needed more than ever for Korea has many education problems. For instance, 190,000 students leave the country to study abroad because they are not satisfied with current circumstances in Korea. There are untold numbers of student suicides who could not overcome the constant stress over national college entrance exams. The administration is blindly obsessed with the much-criticized standardization of high schools which was introduced in the 1970s, a policy that no longer applies to the postmodern information society of the 21st century.
We live in an academia-oriented society. Ironically, it is intertwined with the standardization policy. A university degree or academic certificate is one’s colorful signboard although it might not always be real. More than 80 percent of Korean high school students go through extreme competition to enter the most outstanding universities, no matter how unreasonable. Like the disgraced former art professor, Shin Jeong-ah, Korean society puts too much emphasis on scholastic background rather than merit.
Lee Kun-hee, the chairman of Samsung Group, recently suggested we abandon the standardization system to cultivate talent and help boost the nation’s technological development capacity. Bringing up human resources with creativity and talent is imperative for national competitiveness in the era of globalization and informatization. Reform our outdated education system before it is to late. Also, give more emphasis on meritocracy and less on academic credentials. Choi Da-yeon, Ilsan, Gyeonggi
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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