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Seoul education office cancels licenses for eight elite high schools

Seoul education office cancels licenses for eight elite high schools

Posted July. 10, 2019 07:38,   

Updated July. 10, 2019 07:38


The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education decided on Tuesday to withdraw licenses for eight autonomous private high schools in Seoul, including Kyunghee, Paichai, Sewha, Soongmoon, Shinil, Choongang, and two high schools affiliated with Ewha Womans University and Hanyang University. The schools instantly protested the decision, saying “We cannot accept the outcomes of an eval‎uation that are effectively orchestrated according to a scenario.” They plan to request the Bureau of Audit and Inspection to conduct public inspection into the decision.

At a press conference on the day, the Seoul education office announced it will take steps to cancel licenses for the eight schools (62 percent) of the 13 high schools subject to a performance test required for renewal of their designations. Dongsung, Ewha Womans, Joongdong, Hana, and Hangaram high schools managed to maintain their status as autonomous private high schools. The Seoul education office said it judged that the eight schools are incapable of achieving the objectives of their designation as elite high schools when considering the outcome of its performance review for those schools.

The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, however, stopped short of publicizing the total scores and the scores for the 32 performance indicators for respective schools, and of giving explanations on the respective reasons the licenses for schools have to be cancelled. The office just informed the eight elite schools of their respective scores for six categories, such as “school operation” and “operation of curricula.” “We can prepare for public hearings when we know what our weaknesses are, but it seems that the education office just focused on disqualifying our school,” said a principal from one of the eight high schools.

A final decision on whether those high schools, which have been determined to be unqualified for elite schools, will actually transform into ordinary high schools will be made based on once Education Minister Yoo Eun-hye will uphold the decision next month. The Seoul education office will hold public hearings on the eight schools between July 22 and 24, before requesting Minister Yoo to support its cancellation of licenses. “In order to minimize confusion, we will promptly decide whether to accept the decision or not,” the ministry said.

Ye-Na Choi yena@donga.com · Su-Yeon Kim sykim@donga.com