[Letters] Too much of a risk

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[Letters] Too much of a risk

With entrance tests into my school, the Korean Minjok Leadership Academy (KMLA), coming up, I cannot help but wonder why students can apply to only one special purpose high school. According to a recent survey at KMLA, hardly any students stated that they would have taken the risk of applying to KMLA if they had not known that there would be an alternative solution. Previously, even if middle school students failed the entrance exam, they could enroll in foreign language high schools, science high schools, and others instead of going to regular schools, as the current policy states.

How is this fair? The students have the right to be able to choose which high school they wish to attend. If there is only one shot, there are only two choices left; they can aim for less prominent special purpose schools, where there is a small chance of being rejected, or they can apply to one prominent school for 3 years or more, knowing that they have no second chances.

Sometimes, studying hard just isn’t enough. There can be failures, and so a student may not be able to enter a school that he has studied years for. But if he studied that much, he has a high chance of being accepted into other schools. Does the government have the right to change someone’s future so drastically? Is the reason behind all this another attempt to reduce private education?

If so, then it is yet another futile attempt. To enter a competitive school, there is no choice but to study for years, and where would they go? To Hagwons that specialize in high school entrance exams. Now, if they fail, then all that time and money has gone to waste. Previously, as the preparation for one high school usually is not too different from other schools, it was possible to use what was learned to attempt to enter another school. But now even that is impossible.

The plan KMLA has introduced to deal with this problem is to receive papers that are not directly related to enrollment; the school will examine the applicant’s resume and declare whether or not this student will be admitted on applying. But this method can be extended to only half of the full number of students, around 75. This seems to be the only real way to keep students’ from losing chances, for they no longer have any more.

This policy was brought into action by those who do not receive regular education. They do not know the real difference between the classes of school teachers and those of hagwon teachers. Perhaps if the students, the parents, those directly related to education could make the decisions, there could be less problems, problems that the government is attempting to solve in the most primitive way imaginable.

Park Sung-hyun, High school student
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