|Education Minister Seo Nam-soo addresses a news conference Tuesday. ( Yonhap News)|
All middle school students will be allowed to spend a semester without tests and assessment starting in 2016, the Education Ministry announced Tuesday.
The “free-learning semester,” one of President Park Geun-hye’s pledges, is designed to ease the burden of school testing and help students focus on career planning.
The ministry will test-run the program in September in 42 middle schools, providing each school with a 30 million won ($26,600) subsidy. It will pick 40 additional schools next year.
The ministry also said that it would hire some 1,000 teachers specializing in career consulting and allocate them to all middle and high schools by 2014.
The ministry plans to complete designing the free learning semester program by 2015, before introducing it to all middle schools across the country in 2016.
By Oh Kyu-wook (firstname.lastname@example.org