| The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education announced Thursday that eight elite high schools fell short of meeting the standard points (70 out of 100) after a re-evaluation for their status as autonomous private high schools. The eight schools to be stripped of their status are Kyunghee High School, Paichai High School, Sehwa High School, Soongmoon High School, Shinil High School, Wooshin High School, Choong Ang High School and Ewha Womans University High School.
The education office said that it will make a final decision on the fate of the schools in October after holding hearings for the schools and consulting with the Education Ministry. However, it is unclear whether there will be any school losing its autonomous status because the ministry has already decided not to respond to the Seoul education office`s consultations. "Many autonomous private high schools have aggravated the education environment for general high schools by focusing on university entrance exams and causing well-performing students to rush to them," the Seoul education office said. "We plan to help schools found to be unable to remain autonomous through the latest evaluation turn themselves into ordinary high schools."
If their current status is revoked, the schools will have to turn into ordinary private schools from the 2016 school year. The education office said that the 2015 admission processes will proceed as planned in order to minimize confusion among students and parents and that it will provide administrative and financial support for any autonomous private high schools volunteering to shift to ordinary high schools before the hearing process ends.
"Cancellation of their autonomous status does not mean an end to the schools," Seoul education chief Cho Hi-yeon said. "They can return to their original status after finishing their five-year special experiments as autonomous private high schools and play a role in making education in Seoul better."