‘Elite’ high schools to be grad­u­ally phased out

The Korea Times - - NATIONAL - By Kim Bo-eun, Kwon Mee-yoo bkim@ktimes.com, meeyoo@ktimes.com

The gov­ern­ment will en­cour­age au­ton­o­mous and other “elite” high schools to con­vert them­selves into reg­u­lar schools, the ed­u­ca­tion min­istry said Wed­nes­day.

It said it will grant sub­si­dies and other pol­icy in­cen­tives to those elite high schools that vol­un­tar­ily con­vert them­selves.

This means the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion has set in mo­tion its cam­paign to phase out elite schools on a grad­ual ba­sis. The elite schools have higher tu­ition fees than reg­u­lar schools.

It will also re­vise or­di­nances al­low­ing elite schools to re­cruit ear­lier than reg­u­lar schools so re­cruit­ment takes place si­mul­ta­ne­ously for all of them.

The min­istry re­ported the mea­sures in its brief­ing to Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in at the Se­jong Gov­ern­ment Com­plex.

It was among Moon’s pledges to abol­ish elite schools to get rid of high school rank­ings.

“We will grad­u­ally turn elite high schools into reg­u­lar schools, start­ing on a vol­un­tary ba­sis, in or­der to min­i­mize chaos,” the min­istry said.

The elite schools and many par­ents have strongly op­posed the gov­ern­ment’s plan to abol­ish the schools, claim­ing abol­ish­ing elite schools will re­sult in ed­u­ca­tion uni­for­mity and bring down over­all qual­ity.

Elite schools are ex­pected to have dif­fi­culty re­cruit­ing high-per­form­ing stu­dents if they are banned from re­cruit­ing ear­lier than other schools.

This was re­garded as a prob­lem be­cause elite schools would re­cruit the most out­stand­ing stu­dents first and de­plete the pool of top stu­dents for reg­u­lar schools.

PyeongChang Olympics

In a sep­a­rate re­port to the Pres­i­dent, the Min­istry of Cul­ture, Sports and Tourism vowed to suc­cess­fully host the up­com­ing 2018 PyeongChang Win­ter Games.

Cul­ture Min­is­ter Do Jong-whan briefed the Pres­i­dent at the gov­ern­ment com­plex in Se­jong on how the min­istry is pre­par­ing and de­vel­op­ing in­fra­struc­ture such as ac­com­mo­da­tion and trans­porta­tion fa­cil­i­ties as well as pro­mot­ing the event.

The min­istry will pro­vide 6,000 new rooms in the Gangne­ung and PyeongChang re­gion to sta­bi­lize up­scale lodg­ing ex­penses. Five new ho­tels in Gangne­ung and Jeongseon will be com­pleted this year and cruise ships an­chor­ing at Sok­cho Port will pro­vide 2,200 rooms. Some 1,670 apart­ments in the re­gion will be used as lodg­ing fa­cil­i­ties as well.

Dur­ing the Win­ter Olympics, which will be held next Fe­bru­ary, the min­istry will in­crease pub­lic trans­porta­tion around the venues and pro­vide free shut­tles for con­ve­nience.

Af­ter the in­ter­na­tional sport­ing event, sta­di­ums and fa­cil­i­ties will be trans­formed into multi-pur­pose sports fa­cil­i­ties for na­tional team train­ing and pub­lic events.

The min­istry will also put in the ef­fort to at­tract na­tional at­ten­tion to the Win­ter Olympics by host­ing con­certs and cre­at­ing pro­mo­tional videos to en­cour­age civic par­tic­i­pa­tion.

In ad­di­tion to the prepa­ra­tions for the Win­ter Games, the cul­ture min- istry made ef­forts to pro­tect artis­tic free­dom, which was dam­aged by the black­list of artists by the pre­vi­ous Park Geun-hye ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The min­istry will es­tab­lish an act pro­tect­ing artists from po­lit­i­cal pres­sure or cen­sor­ship and pro­vide eco­nomic aid to help them make a de­cent living.

Pres­i­dent Moon ac­knowl­edged the hard­ships the cul­ture min­istry went through dur­ing the in­flu­ence-ped­dling scan­dal in­volv­ing for­mer Pres­i­dent Park.

“The suc­cess of the PyeongChang Olympics and Par­a­lympics is a na­tional task,” Moon said. “I’ll do my best to sup­port the events, in­clud­ing pro­mot­ing the Win­ter Games at the U.N. Gen­eral Assem­bly in Septem­ber.”

Yon­hap

Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in speaks dur­ing a meet­ing to re­ceive busi­ness re­ports from the ed­u­ca­tion and cul­ture min­istries at the sec­ond gov­ern­ment com­plex in Se­jong, Wed­nes­day.

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