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Monday, September 20, 2004

(Social strata) University admittance, high school differentiation

Ohmynews interviews the representative of "Citizen's Alliance for Educational Reform" (교육개혁시민운동연대), who at the time of the interview was on the second day of a hunger strike against the new university admittance system to be implemented in 2008. There's a small irony that she herself lives in Gangnam, the status of which is largely a consequence of the educational environment there. She has also been active in Tto Hanaûi Munhwa, an alternative culture movement - the use of a double surname (in her case Kim-Jeong) is very common among people there.
I surely won't question her sincerity in the campaign, but it'd still be interesting to know where her own children are getting their education. My guess is that the one in a university is not in a provincial school. She herself is not one of those "ordinary mothers [sômin ômma] shedding bloody tears" because of the system. Not many in Korea can afford and have the leeway to be alternative in their educational choices. I'm reminded of a case of a son of a professor who is active in Tto Hanaûi Munhwa; the son quit high school because he didn't like the educational atmosphere (or something like that), but was later given a special admission to a university - Seoul National.
교육부가 마련한 대학입시제도를 반대하는 까닭은 무엇인가.
"이번 입시안은 대학서열체제를 고치려는 노력이 전혀 없다. 교육부가 학생과 학부모들을 입시병 환자로 만드는 학벌사회 현실을 외면한 것이다. 또 내신비중 강화에 대한 뚜렷한 대책 없이 대학자율성만 확대시켜놨다. 고교등급제나 본고사와 같은 교육적 파행을 예고하고 있는 것이다."
The reporter asks also what the proposition of the association for an admittance system is, but I can't find any concrete in her answer - and that tells a lot of the problem.

Forgot to add the quote why I paid attention to the Ohmynews piece in the first place.
"Nowadays mothers of high-school seniors joke like this. If the university admission officer asks in the interview that where did you sleep last night, one has to answer 'Lotte Hotel' even if the honest answer would've been yôinsuk.
Once I went to Korea to interpret and guide for some Finnish company people, and stayed behind after they returned. During the assignment I lived in Myeongdong Lotte Hotel, and after they left and I had to pay my own loding, I went to stay in a yôinsuk in Sillim-dong. I felt more at home in the latter.

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