Students have been voicing complaints about the lack of support the school has given regarding the Teacher Certification Exam and Public Officer Qualification Exam. Though the school is striving to meet student needs, many are saying it is not enough.
The College of Education accumulated 103 students’ opinions and put together a request form, only to be rejected due to coronavirus. Though they tried twice to hand it in to the administrative office, the college replied that they were unable to, due to current issues such as corona. The request consisted of student opinions regarding increasing support for the Teacher Certification Exam and Public Officer Qualification Exam.
The plea elaborated on how designated buildings were unable to accommodate all the students who wished to study for the exam on campus. Undergraduate and graduate students, students who took a leave of absence and more are all permitted to enter the Teacher Certification Exam study room, but there are only 136 available seats in the two designated rooms. Therefore, in order to enter, students must submit an online form to have their names randomly drawn. This year, although the school discouraged the students from using the study rooms due to the coronavirus, 150 still students applied.
The plea also shed light on how the school should provide more task force. The Teacher Certification Exam is in the format of written essays, in which there are no official public answers presented by the Korea Institute for Curriculum and Evaluation, the host of the exam. This makes it extremely difficult for students to study on their own. Students generally form study groups amongst themselves or study with private education institutes.
Students urge support for competitive exams
According to research done by the student council last year, Ewha offers almost nothing to improve this situation. Some universities such as Korea University, Dongguk University, Korea National University of Education provide students with specific programs, study groups, professor’s documents and more.
Furthermore, students wished for the school to set meetings with alumni who had previously passed the Teacher Certification Exams. They wished for alumni mentors who could offer tips and give advise about the exams.
The administrative office of the College of Education stated that they were unsure of what students wanted regarding setting up meetings with alumni. They stated that the students may make separate study groups on their own, but the school was unprepared to host any specific meetings.
There has also been criticism regarding the amount of support students receive when preparing to become public officers. On Ask for Ewha, the school’s communication channel which receives suggestions for university development, a student voiced her opinion that the school should offer larger scholarships to those preparing for the Public Officer Qualification Exam.
The student’s concern was that the scholarship is given by deducting university tuition fees, but since many of those preparing for exams were on leave of absence or undergraduates, they were unable to receive any financial support.
Ewha Career Development Center(CDC), which is in charge of managing students preparing for the Public Officer Qualification Exam, stated that as of now, only undergraduates in the Public Officer Exam class are allowed to receive scholarships. However, if students on leave of absence wish to receive a scholarship, they may apply for it once they return to school.
CDC further explained the scholarship system.
“Before each semester, we take a practice exam in the same format of the first written Public Officer Exam. 78 students who pass with high scores are applicable to enter the Public Officer Qualification class and are supported in various ways.”
According to the center, undergraduates preparing to become public officers have two scholarship opportunities – SCP (State, CPA, Patent Attorney) Examination Preparation Scholarship, and SCP(State, CPA, Patent Attorney) Examination Pass Scholarship. The first is allocated to students based on their accumulated exam scores and financial situation. The latter is given to those who pass the first exam or last exam out of the three exams to become a public officer.
In order to meet student needs, the school announced that starting this year, it will expand the SCP Examination Preparation Scholarship by 50 percent, while reducing the Incentive scholarship by limiting the number of times students can apply for this scholarship to just once.
When asked about other methods CDC helped students, they stated that they offer two study rooms, a seminar room and a computer room at Ewha-POSCO Building where students can listen to offline and online lectures.
“We also provide them with online lecture fees, various lectures related to the Public Officer Qualification Exam, and practice tests,” CDC added. “Students are prioritized when drawing to live in the dormitory, receive mentoring from alumni who previously passed the exams, and more.”
They also mentioned that they plan on providing more online lectures to students, and will try to reduce the financial burden when students apply for exams.