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Education Ministry propels education reforms

Posted June. 22, 2023 08:01,   

Updated June. 22, 2023 08:01


The Ministry of Education announced its plan to implement national academic achievement assessments for Grade 3 and Grade 7 students in 2024. Furthermore, a credit system will be introduced in 2025, enabling high school students to pursue courses aligned with their interests and earn the necessary credits for graduation. The previous administration’s plan to abolish autonomous private, foreign language, and international high schools has been scrapped.

Vice Prime Minister and Education Minister Lee Joo-ho announced measures to strengthen the competitiveness of public education at the Seoul Government Complex on Wednesday. “The education policy based on a one-size-fits-all approach under the pretext of the principle of equity contributed to the widening of the academic attainment disparity among students, and the quality of public education has, by and large, deteriorated. We must improve the competitiveness of public education,” Lee said, criticizing the former administration’s education policy.

The Ministry of Education recommends that metropolitan and provincial offices of education implement individualized academic achievement assessments for all Grade 3 and Grade 7 students nationwide, starting from the first semester of the academic year 2024. Previously, the academic attainment test was administered at the school and classroom levels, but beginning in 2024, it will be conducted under the supervision of the education offices. The education ministry plans to reflect on whether education offices conduct academic achievement assessments in evaluating each education office and disclose the results to the public. While self-academic assessments were introduced last year to Grade 6 students, only an average of 12.2 percent of Grade 6 students participated in the test.

In 2025, when current Grade 8 students become Grade 10, a high school credit system will be introduced. The assessment of the subjects that all Grade 9 students must take, including Korean, English, and Mathematics, will still be based on a nine-grade relative evaluation system. In contrast, the elective courses will be evaluated under an absolute evaluation system. “If a relative grading system retires right away, there will be confusion in compiling academic reports,” an official from the Education Ministry said. "We have considered this opinion and decided to set back the time at which the absolute evaluation system will take effect."

Foreign language high schools and international high schools will be integrated into “international foreign language high schools.” Additionally, autonomous private high schools, which previously admitted students from all over the country, will now be mandated to allocate more than 20 percent of their enrollment quota to local students.