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GNP Contenders Pledge More School Autonomy

Posted June. 09, 2007 08:17,   


Leading presidential candidates from the Grand National Party--former Seoul Mayor Lee Myung-bak and former Grand National Party Chairwoman Park Geun-hye--said on Friday during a debate on education and welfare policies that if they are elected they will make universities run their own entrance exams and let residents decide whether to implement plans to standardize high schools in their own districts.

Five presidential hopefuls of the GNP - Lee, Park, Rep. Hong Joon-pyo, Rep. Won Hee-ryong and Rep. Goh Jin-hwa – who participated the discussion held in Busan, unanimously stressed the importance of reducing private education spending by normalizing the public education system.

“The open and lifelong education system that provides people with opportunities to learn at any time and anywhere is my belief and the nation’s vision,” Lee said. “I will introduce an autonomous management system to elementary, middle and high schools to create a competitive environment and change the competition-free culture between schools and teachers.”

“Instead of the College Scholastic Ability Test, which can ruin your life because of a single mistake, I’ll have standardized academic exams several times a year so that universities can select students without having to administer their own admission tests,” Park said. “I’ll make sure the government takes full responsibility for English education as well.”

With regards to welfare policies, Lee and Park both said that they would increase government support to the underprivileged through budget cuts and 7 percent economic growth.

The GNP will hold another debate focusing on unification, diplomacy and national security on June 19 in Daejeon.