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Ten Percent of Secondary School Students Do Not Understand Their Classes

Ten Percent of Secondary School Students Do Not Understand Their Classes

Posted January. 11, 2005 21:39,   


There is a clear difference between primary to high school students’ scholastic achievements in the cities and the countryside, and there is a tendency that the higher the grade, the higher the difference.

As a result, one out of 10 students cannot understand their classes due to insufficient basic education.

The Ministry of Education and Human Resources has announced the result of the 2003 National Level Scholastic Achievement Evaluation. This research was carried out by the Korea Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation on 18,843 students from 573 schools, one percent out of all students in grades six, nine, and 10 during 2003.

In this evaluation, there were four stages: brilliant understanding, normal understanding, basic understanding, and insufficient understanding. The stages depend on the evaluation of basic components in Korean, Social Studies, Mathematics, Science, and English.

Female students surpassed male students in every grade and subjects except middle school Mathematics and high school Science.

Students who passed the basic education level decreased with the grade: 95 percent in grade six, 89 percent in grade nine, and 88 percent in grade 10.

Comparing this evaluation to both the 2001 and 2002 evaluation, the percentage of students with insufficient basic education increased annually: primary school from one to four to five percent, middle school from five to seven to 11 percent, and high school from six to 10 to 12 percent.

The percentage of insufficient basic education increased with the grade. This is due to the accumulation of scholastic loss since the primary stage.

Students from big to small cities were superior to students from the countryside in every subject and year. However, there were differences between big cities and middle to small cities depending on the subjects.

Primary school students in big cities surpassed those in middle to small cities by an average of 0.04 to 1.27 points in every subject; average Social Studies points were 161.6 in big cities, 160.54 in middle to small cities, and 158.12 in the countryside.

In the case of middle school students, middle to small city dwellers were superior in Social Studies and Science, but big city dwellers surpassed them in Korean, Mathematics, and English.

High school students were ranked in the order of middle to small cities, big cities and then countryside. Middle to small cities students received 0.49 to 1.95 more points than those of big cities.

This tendency of higher results in middle to small cities has been continuing since 2001.

Researcher Jung Gu-hyang of the evaluation centre explained, “Middle to small cities have higher scholastic achievements than big cities because brilliant students in the countryside move to good schools in neighboring middle to small cities. On the contrary, no students of the neighboring regions move into big cities.”

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In-Chul Lee inchul@donga.com