Go to contents

[Opinion] “Orbee”

Posted January. 08, 2004 23:46,   


Last year, the Seoul Administration Court ordered the announcement of entrance examination rankings. However, the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, being stubborn, again did not announce it. Therefore, incorrect information concerning university entrances given by private organizations flooded again and the examinees’ pockets had to be emptied once again.

The education authorities argue that announcing the ranking is not educational, but to the examinees this is a cruel despotism. Education policy of “saving information,” which says “do as best as you can,” only increases the examinees’ rage in the uncertain environment of entering a university.

An internet site called “Orbee,” which means “group of the best” in Latin, is in boom. This site is where examinees aiming for Seoul, Yonsei, and Korea University and medical, dental, and Chinese medical schools exchange information. When students who apply for the same school and major make public of their exam and school grades while connected to the internet, things happen surprisingly, which even the university admissions professionals do not know. The passing grade of major universities can be predicted and ways to prepare for the discourse and oral tests can be unveiled. Each one of the examinee is weak, but put together many of them and you will get a community as strong as a rock.

The cultural meaning of “Orbee” is that it is a “pleasant rebellion” to the education authority and the universities. Even though the MEHR keeps its opinion of not announcing the results, they can find out where they are compared to other examinees by statistical methods. No matter how well reputable universities keep silent about their cutoff lines, students can find this out by exchanging information over whether or not they passed. Moreover, they do this whilst laughing at the information management and uncertainty lead by the older generation.

Members of “Orbee” call themselves the community of the top one percent. As there are 600,000 examinees who take the entrance exam, they are the top 6,000. In developed countries, the elites are seen as the pillar of the country and so is backed up by their states. On the other side of the coin, Korea continues with university entrance with no rankings to differentiate between the good and the better in the name of education. The fight of “Orbee” in this small crack to enter a university is just too heartbreaking to watch.

Editorial writer Hong Chan-sik chansik@donga.com