Reining in the teachersSome schools are reported to have had supervisory problems when a national scholastic assessment test was administered to first- and second-year middle school students in December.
KBS reporters randomly surveyed middle school students in 27 schools in Seoul, 70 percent of whom said that “the classroom had a disorderly atmosphere during the test and the supervision was incomplete.” Some students said teachers read newspapers during the exam and neglected the fact that students cheated or slept.
It is outrageous that what should have been a serious exam was dealt with so carelessly.
No matter how much teachers considered the exam another administrative chore, this should not have happened.
The national scholastic assessment test was expanded last year.
The test is to evaluate students’ scholastic level and develop academic plans accordingly. It is also to find schools with low achievement and boost aid to them in order to reduce the gap in academic level among schools.
Irresponsible supervision by teachers is tantamount to taking away opportunities to find such schools and provide them with assistance.
The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education said such carefree behavior occurred at private schools with a high number of teachers affiliated with the Korean Teachers and Educational Workers Union.
But this is no excuse.
Preventive measures should be put in place in order to avoid another occurrence of making the purpose of the exam meaningless.
Most of all, supervision during the test needs to be strengthened.
Bringing in parents as supervisors in the classroom can be an alternative. In fact, in some public schools where parents and teachers acted as supervisors during the exam, proper classroom decorum was maintained.
The timing of the exam should also be adjusted. After the end-of-semester exam, students may lose focus.
Basically, teachers and principals whose supervision was incomplete during the exam should be held responsible.
Teachers who encouraged students not to take the exam have already been heavily reprimanded.
The teachers who were negligent with supervision are the same as those who opposed the exam. Teachers who fail to do their duty should leave the profession.