[LETTERS to the editor]Exam does not help students

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[LETTERS to the editor]Exam does not help students

In my opinion, nationwide scholastic exams should be abolished, although they have been brought back supposedly to help boost students’ academic achievement.

From the students’ point of view, they should be tested about what they learned at school by their own teachers and that’s enough for them. Nationwide exams are not appropriate for all students given different [levels of] learning progress and different textbooks all over the country. In a sample survey of 432 elementary, middle, and high school teachers done by the Gyeonggi branch of the teachers’ union, 87.8 percent said that nationwide exams are not helpful in improving academic performance.

Nationwide exams will devastate the public education system. Teachers have to give problem-solving lessons instead of regular classes to raise students’ test scores because schools can be ranked according to student achievement. In addition, it will lead to parents’ preference for high-ranking schools and discrimination against low-ranking schools. By enhancing fierce competition, it also increases students’ stress, threatening their mental health and finally making the atmosphere in public schools dreary. Thus, one standardized test is not appropriate for raising students’ creativity and cooperative attitude required for our future society.

One more thing: The exam will increase private education costs. It violates the right of equal opportunity for education.

Jane Kim, Seoul

*e-mail to eopinion@joongang.co.kr or via fax to 82-2-751-9219
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