Yoon says he will allow scholastic performance test for all schools

SEOUL– President Yoon Suk-yeol said Tuesday he will allow all schools to participate in a national scholastic performance test amid a sharp increase in underperforming teenagers.

Yoon made the remark at a Cabinet meeting, citing an increase of over 40 percent in the number of high school students who failed to meet standards in math and English last year compared with 2017.

The national scholastic performance test was abolished under the previous government of President Moon Jae-in amid criticism it caused stratification among schools.
In its place, the Moon administration introduced a sampling method that tested only 3 percent of students in the third year of middle school and the second year of high school.

“A basic level of education is essential for our children to live as free citizens,” Yoon told his Cabinet at the presidential office. “If we hide behind the criticism of stratification and neglect our children’s education, the future of the Republic of Korea will be dark.”

Proponents of the national performance evaluation have pointed to its benefits in accurately assessing each student’s performance level.

“We will allow all schools that wish to do so to take part in the full-scale scholastic performance test that was abolished under the previous government,” Yoon said. “The state will bear responsibility and create a safety net for basic education by providing education tailored to each student.”

Yoon recalled it was his campaign pledge to build a nation where young people can dream and fully demonstrate their capabilities.

“We must not forget for a moment that the responsibility of ensuring our young people’s dreams are not dashed lies with me, our Cabinet members and our government,” he said after mentioning his meetings with young farmers in the central city of Sangju last week.

“We must place a ladder of hope so that young people can design their future from a fair starting line,” he added. “Instead of short-term jobs, we must create good quality jobs that are led by the private sector, and instead of implementing policies that simply hand them rental housing and cash, we must help them acquire their own homes and accumulate assets.”

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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