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Disqualified Individual Appointed to Prepare CSAT

Posted November. 27, 2003 22:57,   


It turns out there was a huge loophole in the system of the Korea Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation (KICE) when it was appointing those in charge of preparing questions for the College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT).

At a press conference held on November 27 at a government building in Jongno-Gu, Seoul, Yoon Deok-hong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Human Resources Development, released the results of a fact-finding investigation into various controversial issues surrounding the CSAT, including the appointment of those with a career of working at academic institutes as the question-making members and the approval of multiple answers.

Regarding the appointment issue, the Education Ministry said KICE decided to choose Mr. P, who had worked at a academic institute, as one of the members without undergoing a formal confirmation process although there was an internal voice of concern about possible problems given the fact that Mr. P is an invited professor, not an instructor.

The fact that most of the members are a select few from certain educational backgrounds was also pointed out as a serious problem, with 90 out of 156 members of the committee that prepared the CSAT questions as graduates from Seoul National Educational University. Also, 38 of those members are said to have joined the question-making process two years in a row, raising suspicion of possible leakage of identities of the members to the public.

After it was revealed that 20 of those members directly authored or co-authored some of the reference books, ethical questions of the members were raised as well as the fairness issue on the process of member selection.

The Education Ministry said, "There is no problem in approving multiple answers to the Korean part, question 17," and added, "No additional measures will be taken regarding disputes on other questions.”

The ministry promised to address these problems by establishing an advanced commission of appointment and one of the question-making process and said it requested for a police investigation over the allegation that there was an information leakage on the internet which had said a passage related to philosophy would appear on the exam.

The National Police Agency responded that "it is conducting investigation into some of the allegations about this issue posted on the internet site regarding the entrance exam."

Seong-Chul Hong sungchul@donga.com