Go to contents

SNU President: “Equalization Policy for High Schools Should Be Reviewed”

SNU President: “Equalization Policy for High Schools Should Be Reviewed”

Posted July. 19, 2005 03:22,   


Chung Un-chan, the president of Seoul National University (SNU), who recently came into conflict with the government over the issue of introducing an in-depth essay test, insisted that “the equalization policy for high schools should be reviewed.” Chung also dug his heels in on SNU’s plan to introduce an in-depth essay writing test, saying, “There will be no retreat.”

In his lecture titled “The Korean Economy under Globalization’s Wave” at the 30th CEO university meeting hosted by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry held at the Shilla Hotel in Jungmun, Seogwipo City, Jeju Island, on July 18, Chung said the above.

Chung stressed, “Despite the fact that if Korea does not cultivate creative talents, it will be difficult to survive in the international community, Korea’s education policies for high schools have inclined toward downward equalization,” adding, “The government should review its equalization policy for high schools.”

Chung argued, “Even if many graduates from some high schools, including Korean Minjok Leadership Academy, Science High Schools and Daewon Foreign Language High School, have entered Ivy League universities, it is rare for them to be successful in their studies after entering those universities,” adding, “This is a result of university admissions-focused education by rote.”

Chung further said, “The reason why so many middle and high schools students go abroad to study is that the government has failed to single out talent in the process of entering middle and high schools,” adding, “If the government succeeds in selecting creative talent by modifying its equalization policy for high schools, less students will turn to going abroad to study.”

Chung insisted, “High-quality products can be produced only when there exist high-quality materials, but the government’s stance is the same as forcing the production of good products regardless of the quality of materials,” adding, “I agree with the government’s intention to prevent student mentalities from degrading, but it is not appropriate in the current environment of indefinite, globalized competition.”

Chung also added, “Unless one cultivates one’s ability in writing essays with distinctive thoughts in one’s childhood, it will be hard to survive international competition,” adding, “SNU’s plan to introduce an in-depth essay writing test, which will consist of problems comprehensively set and graded based on applicants’ performances in high school, will strengthen students’ these abilities.”

Im-Sook Ha artemes@donga.com