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Gov`t Plans 150 Autonomous Public High Schools by 2014

Posted September. 09, 2009 08:24,   


The Education, Science and Technology Ministry yesterday said it will turn high schools that were given more independence in 2007 into autonomous public schools to allow them more say in school management.

The number of such schools will rise to 150 by 2014.

The ministry said the move will help innovate public high schools at a symposium hosted by the Korean Educational Development Institute yesterday. A final plan will come after consulting with municipal and provincial educational offices.

According to policy research presented at the symposium, 10 independent high schools are operating on a trial basis. The previous Roh Moo-hyun administration recruited principals for the schools and granted them autonomy in school operations, including curriculum selection.

The decision came as part of a broader government plan for a more diverse high school education that will create independent private high schools.

Along with existing independent high schools, 30 public high schools will be designated as autonomous next year and the number will increase to 150 over the next five years. If all goes to plan, 10 percent of regular and 20 percent of public high schools nationwide will become autonomous.

Autonomous public high schools will be chosen from those deemed unpopular, those located in underdeveloped regions, newly opened schools, and those seeking to raise their standards.

Like independent private high schools, autonomous public high schools will be allowed to raise or cut the number of school subjects within the 35-percent range of annual class hours for sophomores. Complete autonomy in curriculum arrangement for juniors and seniors will also be granted.

In standardized regions, students will be recruited through applications and lottery. In non-standardized areas, schools can select their own recruiting methods except a written exam.

The Education Ministry is considering aligning the recruiting period of such schools with that of existing independent high schools, which comes in between ordinary recruiting seasons.