[Letters] Direct elections good for educationRegarding an April 10 editorial, “Education Election Reform,” my opinion is that we must not abandon the direct election system for the superintendent of the provincial office of education.
Direct elections give citizens the chance to develop their own region’s education, take responsibility for their choices, and hence help the development of education. By voting, citizens express their views about their region’s education and their opinions can be reflected in officials’ decisions about education. In this way, education policies can be made that suit each region, achieving the purpose of a self-governing system.
Education should be separated from politics. In the past superintendents were appointed by the top authority, and since 1991 were elected by indirect elections, but there was a high possibility of electoral fraud because the voting rate was low. In addition, most of those elected came from the ranks of government officials. Direct elections can protect our education by being less influenced by politics.
Direct elections help make education consumer-centered. With the previous indirect election system, it was difficult to reflect opinions of students’ parents. They couldn’t be involved in selecting the person who would be in charge of comprehensive management of the province’s education. With the superintendent elected by them, there are more chances to meet consumers’ demands.
What we have to change is not direct elections, but how to increase the voting rate. The Election Commission should make an effort to advertise the elections, and mass media also should participate in notifying citizens about the elections through various programs including candidate debates. Citizens should raise their awareness on the importance of these elections. Each citizen has the opportunity to change our next generation’s education.
Kim Hee-jung, firstname.lastname@example.org