Autonomous Private High Schools Should Be Abolished
Autonomous Private High Schools Should Be Abolished
  • Oh Hwang Junhee
  • 승인 2019.09.02 10:02
  • 댓글 0
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Self-regulated private high schools are schools that self-determine curricula and manage students’ academic progress. They pursue more diversified and individualistic curriculums. However, there has been discussion of prohibiting the operation of autonomous private high schools. Some of these schools have been already converted into normal high school. However, a number of them continue to exist and as such, there still remains some unresolved controversy. SMT reporters asked two students from Sookmyung Women's University how they think about the issue.

-Debate Topic-

Autonomous Private High Schools Should Be Abolished




  Lim Yubi 
 Department of Political Science & International Relation 19 


This year, 11 out of 24 autonomous private high schools have been eliminated, sparking a debate about the right to self-governSangsan High School in North Jeolla Province, is a prestigious high school, but it did not have to restructure. Several ruling party lawmakers criticized the measure of the government. Still, it is clear why such schools should be abolished by examining their purpose of their establishment. First of all, autonomous private high schools are schools designed to ensure students' autonomy in class choiceTheir admissions process operates in much the same way as the college admissions processInstead of contributing to the diversification of public education, which was their original intent, they select only the cream of the nation through preliminary investigation and educate them with a curricula that focuses on the entrance exam to college. The second reason why self-governing high schools should be abolished is that they infringe on equality in education due to the high cost of attending the schools. In fact, tuition fees for autonomous private high schools are 2.5 to 3 times higher than those of ordinary high schools. Therefore, families who do not have the financial means to support a child at one of these schools are deprived of the opportunity to even apply to the schools, and naturally, their childrens range of high school choices narrows due to their income level. Last, it can strengthen the ranking of high school. These schools look at students’ middle school report cards, and only students with top scores can even consider applying to specialized high schoolsStudents who cannot afford these schools or do not have high enough academic scores must enter regular high schools. As a result, private education is now more popular than ever. Students in Korea face harsh competition from middle school and even from elementary school. Therefore, autonomous private high schools should be abolished. 




Lee Yujin 
Department of Political Science & International Relation 19 


Autonomous private high schools should not be abolished. The Korean government has eliminated 11 out of the 24 operating autonomous private high schools located across the country with its re-designation assessment of autonomous private high school initiative. The government cited the need for evaluation on the grounds of curricula that were too KSAT exam focused to provide a well-diversified high school education. Abolishment of autonomous private high schools and their restructuring into more general high schools deprives students of autonomous educational environment options. At autonomous private high schools, the admissions process involves looking at students’ middle school grades and interviews. At Sangsan High School, students are granted enrollment based on an assessment of their creativity, logic, and math and scientific knowledge, which is ascertained from in-depth interviews. Students have the freedom to enroll in specialized schools such as science high schools, autonomous private high schools, and autonomous public high schools, where they can experience and enhance their talents and abilities as well as gain education and academic knowledge expected of high school students. Therefore, abolition of autonomous private high schools violates students' autonomy. Furthermore, abolition of autonomous private high schools and restructuring to general high schools without proper measures has led to constant clashes over how to reduce the academic gap between students from autonomous private high schools and those from ordinary high schools.  In other words, there will be more confusion in the curriculum. In addition, the abolition of autonomous private high schools could create extreme differences between ordinary high schools in Seoul and those in rural areas, which have well-established educational learning environments for the KSAT examsThis difference could then eventually affect inter-regional education levels and college admissions. 

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