Controversy over school systems for parents
Recently, it seems that parents are becoming more capable of intervening in their children’s lives, as universities are adopting systems that allow parents to monitor their children’s academic progress.
In 2013, Korea University adopted a system where parents could check their children’s GPA constantly. Prior to this system, Korea University sent printed report cards to students’ houses via mail. However, as some students deliberately changed their addresses through the Intranet, a school portal site, the university decided to change its policies. Hence, the school adopted an online system for parents to access the students GPAs. Korea University has stated that this system is to prevent lost report cards and ensure the safety of private information. Nevertheless, controversy struck over the new system as to whether it is a parental right or invasion of privacy.
This semester, another controversial website was launched, this time by Ewha. The new Parent Portal was designed solely to allow Ewha’s parents to access campus news including their children’s academic progress, and be informed of school events and receive school newsletters. Not only does this site provide information and billing notices, but it also reveals the students’ grades, under the consent of student.
Despite the regulations that the school developed for the students privacy, some are still concerned of the redundant amount of interference form the parents and worry that it will aggravate helicopter parenting.
As for Yonsei University, they have developed a program where parents can experience the Residential College (RC) system. In the past, parents would share information about their children’s university life and career path in the parent meetings. In the RC program, parents are invited to the Songdo Campus to stay overnight and experience their children’s college life and are given sessions to talk with the professors and attend lectures as well.
While some parents showed gratitude towards these programs, others worried that they provoke excessive intervention in students’ school lives.
“If university students are under control of parents, they may face some difficulties later in the society,” said Joo So-hyun, a freshman of Yonsei University. “I think that if the relationship between the parent, school and student can be well managed, the RC program will definitely contribute to both students and parents positively.”