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[Opinion] Return of Students Studying Abroad

Posted July. 25, 2002 22:21,   


In Korea, many matters concerned education happen frequently and they are against common sense.

How can we explain the phenomenon economically that the price of apartments in a particular area go up sharply depending on the difficulty of High School Assessment Exam? It is a basic theory of education that children have to be protected by their parents until their growing up to mature age. Studying abroad in early age and even in ultra early age must be a kind of gambles. I wonder how foreign specialists in education comment on this phenomenon.

▷ Koreans’ unusual desire for education attracts attention because it makes new social phenomenon continuously. A peculiar trend on education these days may be the desire for entering special purposed high schools such as foreign language high schools and science high schools. Middle school students, who are still childlike, rush for private tuition in every apartment site. It used to be difficult to enter special purposed high schools in the past, but the degree of difficulty in this year is not as it was. Many students and parents prepare for special purposed high school because they think that special purposed high school has more advantage to enter a university. People are anxious that the competition for entering a university will spread over middle schools.

▷ The secondary education is at turning point internally. Firstly, the number of independent schools that have autonomy to select students with its discretion will increase. There is no restriction to apply the schools. So any student can apply for it from whole of the country. Some of public schools that orient prestige school will be appointed as independent schools. It was almost impossible for a student graduating from a domestic high school to enter foreign brand name university directly in the past. It is possible now if a student has SAT records because US universities issue acceptance letter to him/her. It is an unimaginable change.

▷ Because of this kind of new trends, the competition to enter university will be different from the past. Firstly, for education demander, the range of choice becomes wider, including studying abroad in early age. It is the results of people’s demand and social needs rather than government’ intention. At Korean Minjok Leadership Academy that is one of independent school, more than ten students who have been abroad to study are studying now. It reflects the demand for competitive education. It wonders what the government is preparing in the vortex of education revolution.

Hong Chan-sik, Editorial Writer