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[Editorial] Who Doesn`t Know That Talent Is Important?

Posted May. 19, 2005 23:34,   


There is news that a national human resources council chaired by President Roh Moo-hyun will be launched. They say that it is an organization which reflects President Roh`s will to "undertake the task of nurturing the nation`s core talents in person, since nothing is more important than this." The council`s goal of comprehensively developing and utilizing human resources, including representatives of the economic circle at the national level itself is commendable. Yet, is it because there was no previous council body that Korea could not nurture and utilize precious talents?

Before establishing a new council, the government should reflect to what extent relevant policies have satisfied the objective of developing and nurturing talent so far, and whether they have not been obstructions regarding human resource development work. In a country like Korea, where the passion for education, and personal and family-level achievements is strong, each citizen can realize his dream. Moreover, if the environment in which talent is treated well is found, more talent will be nurtured, there will be less brain-drain, and those who escaped Korea would return. Every country which is earnestly eager to nurture talent is taking such a road.

What about the reality in Korea? Policies are overlapping regulations, and in some serious cases, they overlap with those who belong to particular social groups and disadvantage them in the name of social equity. The goals of nurturing talent and university innovations are blocked by the walls of a standardization policy and other various regulations. As a result, side-effects have emerged in the form of the "education exodus" in which many flee to study abroad, downward standardization, and the loss of individual motivations.

As long as administration and policy powers pull back individual freedom, creativity, and the principle of competition in education, and set the trap of equality in front of talent, little will change no matter how much the government stresses nurturing human resources. The goal of university innovation, which is the banner raised by the incoming council, is nothing more than a merely pleasant slogan for now.

It is of course necessary to provide the utmost support to discover and nurture talent at early ages, nurture the nation`s strategic fields, including information communications and bio-engineering, and innovate universities and strengthen competitiveness in order to develop human resources systemically. Nonetheless, what is more important than establishing an organization headed by the president is to fix the minds and approaches of the government and leaders.