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Study Breaks Down Demographics of Incoming Specialized High School Freshmen

Study Breaks Down Demographics of Incoming Specialized High School Freshmen

Posted September. 15, 2005 08:31,   


It has been reported that Bukbu school district (Nowon and Dobong-gu) and Gangseo school district (Gangseo and Yangcheon-gu) account for the lion’s share of the new entrants of eight specialized high schools in Seoul, including six foreign language high schools and two science high schools, in 2005.

But in Daewon foreign high school and Seoul science high school, students from Gangnam school district (Gangnam and Seocho-gu) make up the largest share.

Kim Young-sook, a Grand National Party lawmaker and a member of parliament’s education committee revealed these results. She studied 2,468 students who were admitted to specialized high schools in Seoul: Daewon, Daeil, Hanyoung, Seoul, Ewha Girls’, Myungduk foreign high schools and Seoul and Hansung science high schools.

Nowon and Yangcheon-gu Produced the Largest Number of New Entrants to Foreign Language High Schools-

Bukbu school district came out on top in terms of the number of middle school graduates who were admitted to eight specialized high schools in Seoul with 370 entrants (14.99 percent). It was followed by Gangseo school district with 277 (11.22 percent) and Gangnam district with 252 (10.21 percent).

Bukbu also topped the list with 2.62 percent in terms of specialized high school admission rate, followed by Gangnam (2.05 percent) and Gangseo (1.95 percent).

Wolchon middle school in Yangcheun-gu produced the largest number of specialized high school entrants. A total of 39 students, or 5.8 percent, out of 673 graduates entered specialized high schools. Other schools in the same school district also produced many new entrants of specialized high schools. The number of graduates who entered specialized high schools in the district was 27 each for Sinmok, Mokil and Sinseo middle schools, 25 for Mokdong Middle School, 24 for Wonmok Middle School in Jungnang-gu, 24 for Sanggye High School in Nowon-gu and 21 for Hagye Middle School.

In terms of the specialized high school admission rate, Sangmyung University Middle School in Jongno-gu ranked number one with 10 or 6.13 percent of its 163 graduates entering specialized high schools.

Students Prefer Foreign Language High Schools in their Neighborhoods-

When it comes to foreign language high schools, students were found to prefer high schools near their middle schools because of commuting considerations.

Students from Gangdong school district (Songpa and Gangdong-gu) accounted for the largest share (35.1 percent) of new entrants of Hanyeong Foreign Language School, which is in the same school district. About 27.5 percent new students of Daeil Foreign Language School in Seongbuk-gu and 39.43 percent new students of Myungduk Foreign Language School in Gangseo-gu are also from Bukbu and Gangseo school districts, respectively.

But Daewon Foreign Language School is an exception. A total of 27.44 percent of the school’s new entrants are from Gangnam district and 12.3 percent are from Gangdong district, far more than the 4.9 percent who are from Seongdong district (Gwangjin and Seongdong-gu) in the neighborhood.

This year, 25 percent, or 539 out of 2,157 students who entered six foreign language schools in Seoul are from the Gyeonggi and Incheon school districts.

Gangnam students make up the largest incoming group at Seoul Science High School-

Bukbu and Gangdong school districts (Songpa and Gangdong-gu) account for the largest share(14.52 percent respectively) among new students of Seoul and Hansung science schools. They were followed by Gangnam (14.19 percent) and Gangseo (13.23 percent). Dongbu school district (Dongdaemun and Jungnang-gu) ranked at the bottom with 4.8 percent.

Seoul Science High School has 34 students from the Gangnam school district, or 21.79 percent of its 156 students, while Hansung science school has 24 students from Gangdong school district or 15.48 percent of its 155 students.

Rep. Kim said, “It is wrong to criticize the Gangnam school district based on the blind belief that a disproportionately large number of Gangnam students attend specialized high schools. Specialized high schools are playing a positive role by providing more options and complementing the high school standardization system. So there is a need to increase the number of specialized high schools in an effort to diversify public education.”

Seong-Chul Hong sungchul@donga.com