Ninth-graders still can choose their high school

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Ninth-graders still can choose their high school

Ninth-graders in Seoul will be able to choose which high school they attend next year, following suit with the high school selection policy that began in 2009.

The policy had been under fire since liberal Seoul education superintendent Kwak No-hyun took office in June. Kwak had said the policy encouraged excessive ranking of high schools and declared the policy would be re-examined from the ground up.

But the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said it would keep the policy the same this year to reduce confusion for students and teachers, as they confirmed high school admissions for 2011 yesterday.

Although the policy is staying put for this year, the ministry said it would start reconsidering the policy at the end of the year, when results are available for early 2011. Then the policy may be changed.

According to the policy that was started at the end of last year by former Seoul education superintendent Kong Jung-tack, students can apply to just one special-purpose high school, which includes schools for science, foreign languages and the arts, and which have separate admissions regulations. Autonomous private high schools also fall into this category.

For regular schools, students are allowed to choose two out of the 236 high schools in Seoul, and 20 percent of the student quota will be filled through that process.

The exception will be schools in central Seoul, which will be filled to 60 percent in the first step of the selection process.

Another 40 percent of the schools’ student quotas will be filled in the second step, after students who were not assigned a school choose two schools close to their residential areas. The remaining quota is filled with students based on their commuting distances and religions.

Regular high school selection is conducted through a random lottery.

By Lee Won-jean, Christine Kim []
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