[LETTERS]New president, new policy?

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[LETTERS]New president, new policy?

The editorial “Academic autonomy” [Dec. 2] states that autonomy of universities is necessary for better education. However, I am doubtful that the author has considered every angle. The university entrance examination policy in Korea has been changed continuously and still hasn’t produced something people agree on, leaving many students, parents, and teachers confused.

One of the most controversial issues in Korean admission policy is the “Three Nos,” policy which forbids receiving donations in exchange for school admission, ranking high schools by academic achievement and allowing each university to develop its own entrance test.

Some universities and people assert the Three Nos policy [has no place] in a democratic, market economy country. However, in this society of free competition where the rich-get-richer, poor-get-poorer phenomenon is rampant, education policy should be more cautious.

Even though universities return the gains from donations to students in the form of scholarships, the policy is obviously a violation of the principle of equality. Equal opportunity for education should be gained by academic results, not by parents’ wealth.

Ranking high schools and giving prestigious schools privileges compel even middle school students to struggle to enter well regarded high schools, causing excessive competition.

Autonomy in testing for each university creates much more demand for private education than before. Public school teachers can’t give individual instruction for 40 students who take different kinds of university tests, and this situation drives students to hagwon; however, these are also only for the rich.

Current university entrance examination policy still has a lot of problems to be corrected. I’m quite concerned about hastily altering educational policy according to each change of administration. Instead, public confidence and consent should be sought before decisions are made.

Jang Eun-young, Howon High School, Uijeongbu

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