Violating right to learnA nationwide examination to assess the scholastic abilities of third grade students took place yesterday. But over 100 students and their parents refused to take the test and instead went on a field trip hosted by the Seoul chapter of the Korean Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union and the Parents’ Association for Equal Education.
It was absurd that the students boycotted an exam and skipped school. The move was at the instigation of the Korean Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union, which encouraged them to refuse to take the test, arguing that it will prompt excessive competition.
The students probably did not understand the significance of what they were doing. It is likely that they went on the field trip because their parents told them to. They probably just felt happy that they did not have to take the test.
However, none of the schools officially authorized the field trip. All the students will be marked as absent.
We want to ask the teachers’ union why it violated the students’ right to education.
We have stressed many times that the evaluation tests are necessary for the education system. The tests are intended to assess students’ abilities in order to shape the direction of education.
By providing education commensurate to students’ knowledge levels, the number of students lagging behind can be minimized.
The exams can also provide an accurate assessment of students’ learning level to themselves and their parents. Such nationwide exams are conducted in most advanced countries in order to encourage students and improve their abilities.
The teachers’ union has been extremely irresponsible in instigating the objection of the students and their parents. Rejecting the exams is tantamount to giving up on education.
The education authorities must not sit back as the teachers’ union tries to incapacitate the national exams. That would be aiding and abetting a crime in violation of the students’ right to learn.
The teachers’ unions’ activities must be stopped before the national scholastic performance tests are taken by elementary, middle and high school students on Oct. 14 and 15. If necessary, the list of teachers’ union members should be made public by each school so that parents can monitor their anti-education actions.
Nationwide exams to test scholastic abilities must continue. Such tests will lead to tailor-made education and our students’ improvement. That is the only way to save our public education system.