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Despite High Tuition, Parents, Students Happy with Autonomous Private High Schools

Despite High Tuition, Parents, Students Happy with Autonomous Private High Schools

Posted September. 03, 2005 08:34,   


Autonomous private high schools that have been test-run starting from 2002 have turned out to improve the quality of classes by providing educational availability. Students also expressed satisfaction at the education provided under the system.

However, there still are problems that should be addressed. Most students at these schools are from middle-and-upper income classes, and the system is giving less consideration to students from lower-income families.

On September 2, the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development held the first meeting of the Conference on the Autonomous Private High School System, comprised of 16 participants from various sectors of society, including professors, parents, teachers and civic organization officials. At this conference the ministry disclosed to the public an evaluation report on the test-run of the Autonomous Private High School System at six model schools, including the Sangsan High School in Jeonju, in North Jeolla Province.

The evaluation team said in the report, “School founders are carrying out the role of funding the schools with responsibility. Processes and results of school running are being made public and transparent.” They evaluated, “The Autonomous Private High School System brings about positive benefits, such as an improvement in quality of classes, a specialization of education, an expansion of opportunities to choose high schools, and an improvement in educational availability.”

The evaluation team said, “Although the monthly average income of parents is 5.37 million won and students from middle-and-upper income families form the majority at these schools, we have found no evidence that these schools are for aristocrats, as the word on the street says. However, they went on to say, “Annual tuition fees at these schools (including enrollment fees and dormitory costs) are in the range of 5.12 and 15.38 million won, and it is difficult for students from lower-income families to get an education at these schools.”

The Education Ministry intends to finally decide at the end of this year whether to introduce and expand the system after holding a public hearing based on the discussion of the Conference on the Autonomous Private High School System. Autonomous private high schools, if they are expanded, are expected to take in new students starting 2007.

In-Chul Lee inchul@donga.com