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High School Allotments: Choose Schools First, Draw Lots Later

High School Allotments: Choose Schools First, Draw Lots Later

Posted April. 19, 2005 23:12,   


In order to complement the shortcomings of the high school equalization system, the number of high schools in Seoul in which incoming freshmen can “select multiple schools first and later draw lots” will be increased next year.

The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education announced yesterday that it is reviewing an increase in the number of “first select, later draw lots” high schools from the current 29 to 36, starting with next year’s allotment, by expanding the joint school group which is enforced on high schools that fall within a four-kilometer perimeter from the city hall to five kilometers.

If that happens, the proportion of students who advance to academic high schools and belong to the joint school group would increase from 14 percent to as much as 19 percent, and in 2008, it will expand up to 25 percent.

The “first select, later draw lots” student allotment system was introduced in 1996 to resolve the shortage of students in downtown high schools and expand the students’ right to choose. Students first apply for three to five high schools from a pool of schools in Jongno, Mapo, and Seodaemun-gus, and any in Yongsan-gu. Then, they are allotted by drawing lots. Students not selected from lots are allotted to a school in a domicile school group.

The Seoul education office said, “In the 2006 allotment, seven schools in a five- kilometer perimeter in Mapo, Songbuk, Seodaemun, and Dongdaemun-gus will be included additionally. We are reviewing increasing the number of the pool to 50 schools by newly establishing ‘prestigious school groups’ other than the joint school group.”

The Seoul education office decided to form a promotion planning group aiming to expand the right to choose schools during the latter half of the year and minimize problems by entrusting relevant research to external institutions and conducting allotment simulations.

Regarding the measure, spokesman Han Man-jung of the Korean Teachers and Educational Workers’ Union stated, “We agree with expanding the right to choose schools through the joint school group system, but it is not desirable to make a competitive system among high schools.”

Na-Yeon Lee larosa@donga.com