While almost every student has taken the TOFEL, TOEIC, or TEPS exams, or at the very least is studying for them, a computer-related certificate is still relatively uncommon and rare, creating additional hardships to many Ewha students.
Ewha has recently implemented programs aimed to help students achieve certain standards of proficiency in using computers, with courses provided by the Ewha Advanced IT Education Center (AITEC) and the Ewha Career Development Institute (ECDI). AITEC and ECDI provide courses on Microsoft Office User Specialist (MOUS), e-Test certificates, and the Test of Internet Technology Qualification (TITQ).
Additionally, and outside the scope of the computer certificates, they both provide computer graphic courses such as Flash, Photoshop, and Dream Weaver.
Students at first disregarded these computer proficiency courses provided by the school, in part not yet concerned with graduation, but also due to their high registration prices. The fee was (and still is) 180,000 won for the MOUS courses, 200,000 won to prepare for the e-TEST, and over 100,000 won for all the other courses.
But with time passing, more Ewha students are coming back to these courses. Students showed great interest in the courses of both AITEC and ECDI during the winter vacation. Four to eight MOUS preparation classes were opened initially in the winter session, (each class limited to 40 people), but due to a larger than expected enrollment, ECDI and AITEC were forced to open an additional class.
Unfortunately, the rise in the popularity of the computer courses doesn’t seem to be due to better educational quality, nor due to the true needs of the students. Rather, it seems more like the result of inevitability. Many students are beginning to think that there is no choice but to take the courses and get the certificates, for it is becoming a pressing matter for many as graduation date looms closer.
"The school’s aim in helping students who don’t know where to turn to is welcome. But the fee is still too expensive for many Ewhaians, and the
classes are more geared for the obtainment of the certificates, not for the advancement of a student’s computer skills," says Shin Bora (Korean Language & Literature, 2) who recieved the AITEC"s MOUS classes.
As Shin mentioned, in order to get true approval from students, improvements must be made in the courses. Rather than being satisfied with the present situation, AITEC and ECDI should keep up with efforts in raising the quality of the courses, and continue to increase the computer proficiency of the students, not the ratio of successful applicants.