The Philippine Star

S. Koreans take college entrance exam amid viral resurgence


SEOUL ( Reuters) – Hundreds of thousands of masked students in South Korea, including 35 confirmed COVID-19 patients, yesterday took the highly competitiv­e university entrance exam despite a viral resurgence that forced authoritie­s to toughen social distancing rules.

About 493,430 students took the one- day exam at about 1,380 sites across the nation, including hospitals and other medical facilities where the 35 virus patients and hundreds of other test-takers in self-quarantine sat separately from others, according to the Education Ministry.

The annual exam, called “suneung,” or the College Scholastic Ability Test, is crucial for many students in the education-obsessed country, where job prospects, social standing and even who you marry can often depend on which university you graduate from.

South Korea is battling a third wave of coronaviru­s infections, forcing authoritie­s to take strict steps to ensure all students could safely take the test.

Police and school officials guarded some 31,000 test venues across the country, which in normal years are usually filled with praying parents and cheering squads distributi­ng hot drinks and snacks.

“It’s my second test, and I just wanted to get it done despite the risks of contractin­g the coronaviru­s. That’s all I was thinking about coming here,” Jeon Young-jin, 19, told Reuters in front of a test venue in Seoul.

Some 35 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 sat for the test at designated hospitals, while special venues were provided to help another 404 who are in self isolation.

 ?? AP ?? A student takes the annual college entrance examinatio­n in Seoul yesterday.
AP A student takes the annual college entrance examinatio­n in Seoul yesterday.

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