South Korea’s Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology leads education reform to prevent excessive prior learning from private tutoring
*Original article in Korean
Joongang News (September 26, 2012)
Prior learning in Korea refers to educational programs offered via private institutes, which teach above-grade-level school curricula to students in advance. Subjects are taught a year ahead of schedule, and even three years in certain cases. South Korea’s Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology announced that the excessive prior learning has caused problems in students’ cognitive, social and emotional, and educational development. The ministry has presented an outline for a new policy that plans to solve the problems through:
-Examination of public school curricula that might encourage prior learning.
-Examination of the effects of prior learning on the entrance exams for high schools and colleges.
-Exploration of the successful public school models with regard to curriculum management.
-Conducting scientific and practical research on the disadvantages of prior learning.
-Probing of private tutoring programs.
For more information:
Link to the article from the blog of the Korean Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology (Korean)
Prior Learning (English)
36% of parents spend W910,000 on tutoring
Growing debt worries for South Korea
New English test seems like a big waste of public funds
The Hankyoreh (September 12, 2012)
Since Lee Myung-bak took office in 2008, the government of South Korea has invested close to 30 billion won ($26 million) in The National English Assessment Test (NEAT), an English language test that is expected to replace American tests like the TOEIC or TOEFL in the university entrance system beginning in 2013; however, serious questions have been raised by Rep. Yu Gui-hong of the Democratic United Party from the Ministry of Education and Science as to whether NEAT has been effective and reliable.
Students sit a trial version of the National English Aptitude Test at a school in southern Seoul. (Kim Myung-sub/The Korea Herald)
To read more on this topic, go to:
National English Assessment Test (NEAT)
Universities to add Natoinal English Ability Test to admissions
Changing evolution theory to creationism in textbooks, that is ridiculous around the world
(6 June 2012)
Controversy has ensued as to whether the biology textbook should change its coverage of evolutionary theory to creationism. The Unified Association, along with those who refute the biological theory of evolution, urge that creationism be instituted in schools. Biologists, however, say that if evolutionary theory is replaced in textbooks, it will be a “nonsense” event. As a result, the biologists are insisting that no change be made in the textbooks, ensuring that creationism is still taught in schools.
The following video highlights the debate over the textbook debate in South Korea: