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Students Could Get High School Choice

Posted June. 17, 2006 03:09,   


Middle school students will be able to apply for the high schools they want as early as 2010.

Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education is considering the plan from the current system of assigning students randomly to schools within the district they live in. Such a change would mean a drastic change from the current system.

According to the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development and Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, the Seoul Office is going over Dongguk University professor Park Bu-kwon’s proposal on giving more choice to students in deciding which schools they go to.

Based on Park’s report, the city will consult with public opinion until August, and come up with when and how the plan will be executed after implementing a simulation of the changed system.

Park’s team proposed a total of 4 plans; 2 possible applications for each student from one district and ordinary district each, 2 choices from a common, one and ordinary district each, 3 choices from consolidated districts, and 2 choices from ordinary and consolidated districts each. The second proposal is known to be the most likely candidate.

One district includes all high schools in Seoul, common districts include 37 schools, ordinary districts include high schools from 11 districts, and consolidated districts include schools from the 2 nearest districts.

In the second plan, students can choose two schools from the common district. Those who failed to enter the schools they want will be assigned to schools in ordinary districts. The students who did not get assigned from these two procedures will be assigned to schools in consolidated districts.

“The second plan is most realistic because it includes the least change from the current system and the most choice to students,” said an official of Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education.

Side effects, however, are also expected such as increased gap between schools that are favored and those that are not, and longer commute to schools.

“The changed system would be implemented by 2010 at the earliest because the current educational superintendent stated that there will be no change to the system during his term, and taking into account the fact any change of policy should be notified 3 years before the implementation,” said the official of the Office of Education.