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Three Presidential Aspirants Discuss Education Policy

Posted May. 09, 2007 09:04,   


With regard to the “three nots policy”--the prohibition on accepting financial donations for admitting students, ranking students based on their high schools, and administrating university-run entrance exams--former Seoul Mayor Lee Myung-bak said, “I believe donation-based admission systems should be reviewed and gradually introduced after establishing an institutional framework. However, I oppose a high school ranking system.”

Meanwhile, former Grand National Party chairwoman Park Geun-hye said, “I will give it positive consideration if donations are used as scholarships to help poor students. However, I disagree with a high school ranking because it is an inheritance system.”

However, former Gyeonggi Governor Sohn Hak-gyu said, “Considering the reality of the education system and public sentiment, it is not appropriate to grant admissions in return for financial contributions.”

Those were the answers given by the three leading presidential hopefuls on Tuesday in a discussion held by Dong-A Ilbo over the “three nots policy.”

With regard to equality-oriented educational policies, Lee said, “Although the intent of the egalitarian policy should be preserved, it is necessary to introduce competitive elements. Students should be given more choices in selecting schools and the diversification (of school education) should be gradually expanded.”

Meanwhile, Park said, “I oppose uniformity in education and any type of standardized education that would result in dumbing down Korea’s students. Whether to keep or abolish standardized education should be decided by the vote of residents in metropolitan cities and provinces. "Self-reliant" private schools and special-purpose high schools should be able to be established without restrictions.”

Sohn said, “The abolition of restrictions in establishing schools or changing schools into self-reliant private schools or special-purpose high schools should be reviewed.”

With regard to lowering the costs of private education, Park said, “The government should be entirely responsible for teaching English, which is the biggest financial burden. Schools should introduce classes for different levels and the level of textbooks should also be improved.”