[Letter to the editor]Let the schools be free
I was impressed with the article, “Discard Ranking System” (Nov. 23). As a teacher and parent of a student in third year of high school, I totally agree with the article and want to suggest more solutions.
University authorities don’t trust the students’ school scores. High school grades are not the same in reflecting their students’ ability, so they think ranking test scores is the most important factor used to evaluate students who want to enter a university. However, the Roh administration promised all students that their school scores will be the most important factor for university admission until last semester.
So the students have studied hard to get good grades in their own schools, but now it is useless. This can destroy regular high school education because the students now think that private academies are more effective than their schools.
University authorities also count the students’ ability in writing essays. However, the students haven’t learned how to write essays at their schools, so they have to learn to do so at private academies.
This ranking system is very confusing when the students try to choose which university to apply to, so the numbers of private consultants for choosing and preparing for specific universities are increasing, and their services are also expensive. The parents are heavily burdened with tuition fees even though they have already spent a huge amount of money for private instruction for their children.
Some students are good in some subjects, but perhaps not in others, and we must educate them accordingly. Some of them might be geniuses; however, they can’t enter good universities in this system.
For instance, if they get scores of 100 percent in math and English but only 80 percent in Korean, 100 percent in two subjects is ranked the same as scoring 92 percent, but 80 percent in Korean is fatal. Even though the total score is better than that of some students who got the first rank, this shows the unfairness of the ranking system. When the government changed the university entrance system, it said it was because it wasn’t good enough. But the system actually is getting worse. Now it’s time to correct this situation for our country’s well-being. So, I recommend that the high school entrance system be changed first.
We should accept various kinds of high schools and let the students choose by themselves. The government should give autonomy to the education system in the high schools. If this happens, all students can adjust according to their abilities, and it reduces burdens on the parents, such as tuition fees for private instruction. If the universities could choose their students their own way, this chaos might disappear.
Yu Kyung-ock, a teacher
at Sungok Elementary School in Seoul