A Call For Reform
A Call For Reform
  • 강서미
  • 승인 2004.11.02 00:00
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   About 200 students in Gwangju are under investigation for their involvement in the organized and elaborate cheating scandal during the National Scholastic Aptitude Test (NSAT) on Nov. 17. The public and the media alike, label the students who partook in the exam scan as immoral and thoughtless. However, we must question why they had to resort to such means.
   Photo essays in newspapers with a seeming intent to criticize the violators in the examination, show students planning to major in physical education running with all their might toward the finish line. The captions read: "We reach for victory with our own ability," and "We fight through our sweat." We again must question if the students who engaged in cheating did not have abilities of their own. They had experienced continuous sweating in an effort to gain higher scores in numerous examinations.
Of course, it was ethically wrong to cheat in the examination, as it infringes upon the other students' right to equal opportunity. But are the educational institutions going to stop at simply providing equal opportunity to take the exams, or are they going to provide equal opportunity to all to realize their full potential."
   Putting all the blame on the students, the lenient supervisors, and the local authorities who failed to prevent the happening is the result of searching for the solution of the problem from its effects. Deep contemplation needs to be given to the source of the problem, the education system of Korea and the social atmosphere that values the result over the means.
   The NSAT asks of students to present all they have on a multiple choice answer sheet. Regardless of one's inner ability, it is the test score that universities look at in evaluating the students. By the same token, it is the name plate of the university that employers look at when employing an applicant. In the present society, corruption is overlooked, as it is the title one attains that matters to others regardless of one? ability. Students are infatuated with the same value system. Their conscience no longer inhibits them from taking an immoral action, for through observation they have learned that the end nullifies the means.
   The society at large must regain its sense of morality, and in order for this to be of any value, evaluation processes must be made to take into account the overall achievement of a person. Universities cannot be competitive in the international arena with a student body that has no depth or specialty, but relies on memorization and a few decimal difference in entering a school. Universities need to be liberalized from the state-run examinations, using them only as reference, and develop their own method of evaluating students.

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