“This change (to a 15-week lecture system) willhelp to guarantee students’ the right to take 15- week classes and we will enforce supplementary lectures about canceled classes.” - This interview with the staff of students affairs was covered in Vol. 299 of the Dankook Herald (DKH) newspaper.
How many dankookians agree with it? We agree that Dankook University(DKU) assures the right of taking a class for students through makeup lessons. However, after DKU decided to decrease 16-week classes into 15-week lectures, there has not been any result of what they had asserted. Actually, we heard that many students including the reporters of DKH had not yet taken a makeup lesson. We also can figure out there has not been any guideline for that system. So we planned to write this article.
The last day of this semester is on December 24? What damages does it make?
After the 15-week lecture system was adopted, one of the good things was that students could escape from the academic calendar a week earlier than the 16 weeks system. However, in case of classes on Wednesdays, there was Chuseok(Korean Thanksgiving Day) and DKU’s anniversary so class schedules will be over 15 weeks including makeup classes.
The problem is not having makeup classes but the decision of makeup class date. In other words, if a class is canceled, the class will be made up on any day in 16th week. But part-time instructors can have makeup classes only a few days in a week because they have other class schedules. Therefore, if they cancel their class on Monday twice, the makeup class will be on December 13 and 20. In other words, the semester is extended by two weeks. Student Lee in Cheonan campus said that “This semester will be finished on December 24.” Many students including student Lee also complained that their late end of a course may disrupt their vacation plans.
Furthermore, there are students who worry about place to sleep because of the new makeup class system. The reason is that students live in Haksajae(dormitory) in Cheonan campus can be used for only periods of the semester. Student Hwang lives in the dorm of Cheonan campus said “Last semester, I did not have a place to sleep for a few days because the dormitory closed earlier than that of ending makeup classes. So I had to stay in my friend’s house for a few days. l am worried about that if this semester becomes like the last one, where will I sleep?” Makeup classes have been progressing well? Other problems are makeup classes have not been progressing well. Most makeup classes have
been organised according to the professors’ discretions because of unprepared guidelines and the criterion of the makeup class system.
DKH asked a question “Have you ever had makeup classes?” Most students answered that “Some classes were canceled but there were no makeup classes.” Even if a supplementary lecture was proceeded, professors do not reflect all students’ schedules and decided the date of the makeup class by themselves. Student Yun in Jukjeon campus said “I have not had makeup class,” “Most students do not like makeup classes and professors also pretend to follow the students’ opinion.” Also student Lee in Jukjeon campus said that “Our university’s tuition fee is too expensive but I did not have any makeup class,” “I have the right to take as many classes as I have paid for!” One student of Cheonan campus was angry that “There was a supplementary lecture about my major but I could not attend the class because I had to take another class at the same time. However, the problem is that the professor gave students some hints about the mid-term but I could not take it so I was so upset!” DKU’s reaction DKH visited the staff of students affairs with the above students’ examples to hear the school’s reaction.
The staff explained “There are makeup classes scheduled in the 16th week for Chuseok and DKU’s anniversary. Therefore, the official end of this semester is on December 21 including makeup classes. It is sure to keep students’ rights for a guarantee of classes.” However, they said about the makeup class for canceled classes not because of Chuseok and DKU anniversary, in other words, the canceled class under the makeup class criterion is unclear such as for the athletics competition. “Canceled classes except for holidays are progressed by agreement between students and professors. Professors must report to each school when they cancel classes and have makeup classes.” But
they did not mention other guidelines. They said without a sense of responsibility about the case of the dormitory we mentioned earlier “We understand the students’ situation but we can not take care of everything.”
Before starting this new education system, there is the much-troubled saying about this sudden change and then DKU said it would promise to give the right of guaranteeing classes via the supplementary lecture system. We just wondered how well this promise has been conducted, this made us write this article. We can figure out most of students who we interviewed expressed their complaint like ‘The promise of supplementary classes has not proceeded well,’ ‘There is no solution over the problem related with makeup classes or exact guideline on them.’ We know, our university cannot adjust all problems related with school’s promise to each individual.
However, at least, we think that it should prepare the exact guideline because it can romise to guarantee the student’s right to take their class. Also when some problems about this happen, students will be able to accept the problem through that. Actually the DKH’s reporter heard from his major professor that “There is no direction on makeup classes, maybe the lack of direction makes students confused.” We will expect other alternative and fast action about this problem from DKU!
Jae-Kyu Lee, Ji-Soo Heo firstname.lastname@example.org