There is a saying that goes :
“Education is a plan that spans a hundred years.”
This means that education should be performed with a long-term view. But what is the reality of education in Korea? Our reality of education is too unstable and volatile. The government’ education policy changes too frequently. Therefore we are always anxious about the environment of education which can be easily changeable in Korea. Especially the governmental policy of the national college entrance exam in Korea also known as the CSAT (College Scholastic Ability Test), changes too often. So many primary and secondary students in Korea always seem to be at a loss as to how to prepare for it.
Not long ago, the Ministry of Education stated that the policy of English subject examination of the CSAT will be changed into an absolute evaluation from the year 2018. It is also making all of the students and their parents, who are gearing up to take the Sunung in the future, feel disoriented and confused about their preparation for the college entrance examination. Education authorities say that the purpose of the change is to calm the overheated private education market, and have a decidedly sanguine outlook that private English education will be sharply reduced after the introduction of the new evaluation system. But many people can not believe their anticipation and judgment because the frenzy over private education is not likely to be dissipated simply by the change in evaluation system.
In Korea, universities also have a great responsibility for the crippled operation of the government’ education policy of public education. They incite all the prospective test-takers to get private education so as to prepare for the university’ own essay test which is performed by universities themselves to select the best students more effectively. So most examinees for university entrance usually rely on private education to prepare for the university’ essay test because their schools usually don’ offer preparatory courses for the test. To ease the situation, the Education Ministry continues to encourage universities to focus on school grades and college entrance exam scores without the essay test. But, in general, because universities don’ believe the students’CSAT scores and their high school records, they persist on their own selection methods. Therefore although the evaluation system of the CSAT changes, universities will search for other methods of assessment, and the student’ dependence on private education may not come down.
And then what is the reality of education in our universities? Is education being carried out properly and correctly on college campuses? In Korea, universities have been breeding the proper talented individuals for our society? What our universities need now is to reconsider their role in the society through an exhaustive self-examination of what they did right and wrong. It is regrettable that these days universities fail to foster individuals competent and reliable for diverse sections of society. Our universities have adhered to tangible outcomes or results to get as much government’ support and fund as possible without grappling with the questions, “hat is the essence of education in universities, and how to cultivate true or creative human resources who will lead the nation’ future?”Now universities should make long-range plans to play a true role and duty for the future of our society instead of sticking to temporary and short-term results. It is also high time that our universities should take greater pains over how to teach students rather than how to select them.
By Professor Min Kyung-taek / Department of English language and Literature
The Chungdae Post -
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