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Physical Education Required for 12th Graders

Posted February. 24, 2007 07:15,   


Eleventh and 12th grade students will be able to choose elective subjects among six subject areas, up from the current five, and 10th grade students will be required to take an additional hour of science and history each week.

Music, art and physical education will be assessed in a different way such as a descriptive system, replacing the current rating system, which categorizes students into five groups: excellent, very good, good, fair, and poor, to lessen the learning burden of students.

The Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development announced on Friday that the seventh revision of primary and secondary curriculum would be applied in phases starting 2009.

Splitting the music/art/physical education group-

The Ministry of Education increased the number of selective subject areas from five to six: Korean/ethics/social studies; math/science/technology/home management; physical education; music/art, foreign languages; and electives, by splitting the current music/art/physical education group into physical education and music/art.

The ministry failed to divide technology/home management into two separate subject groups in the face of criticism that the plan will increase the burden of students.

Current 11th and 12th graders are required to select just one subject among music, art, and physical education subject areas and complete four units. A unit means an hour in class per week. However, current 5th graders should get a total of 8 units in the area - 4 units of physical education and 4 units of either music or art - starting 2012 when they become 11th graders.

The ministry said, “The revision is intended to stop students from being too obsessed with preparation for college entrance exams and to encourage physical activities of 11th and 12th graders.”

However, it will make a change in the assessment of the music/art/physical education subject area, considering that a possible backlash from students and parents that those subjects could add burdens to students who are already busy enough with college entrance exams.

Deputy Minister of Education and Human Resources Development Lee Jong-seo said, “We are discussing new methods to assess students in the music/art/physical education subject area, such as a pass or fail system, a descriptive evaluation system, and a grading system. We will come up with a new method to minimize the student’s burden of learning by May.”

Enhancing science, history education-

10th graders’ science and history classes will increase from 3 to 4 hours and from 2 to 3 hours per week, respectively.

Korean history and world history will be lumped into one history category as an independent subject area, and East Asian history will be added.

Science teachers have argued that math and science be separated and that the number of classes should be increased to build basic knowledge and increase the nation’s competitiveness. But their voices were not reflected.

Gu Soo-gil, a biology teacher of Gujeong High school in Seoul, said, “The elective subject system makes students who plan to study science and engineering in colleges shy away from choosing science subjects,” urging more science education.

The Ministry of Ministry said, “Each subject wants to be separated as an independent subject area, but required subjects cannot be added indefinitely. The ministry will revise the curriculum again after considering different views.”