중앙데일리

Korean textbooks said to be tinged with pink

Jan 18,2006
A Seoul National University professor said yesterday at a political seminar that many textbooks used in primary and secondary schools here contain serious distortions and are disparaging of South Korea’s modern history.
Park Hyo-chong, a professor of social studies at the university’s College of Education, was addressing a discussion hosted by the conservative Grand National Party’s Yeouido Institute.
He said that many of the texts for social studies and modern Korean history classes omit such topics as the Korean Constitution and downplay the significance of the founding of the republic in 1948.
The Grand National Party’s chairwoman, Park Geun-hye, complained at the seminar that the Roh administration was inculcating wrong values in Korea’s youth with bad textbooks. She also complained again about the recently revised private school law, which she said allowed the left-wing Korean Teachers and Educational Workers Union to increase its influence on what is taught in schools.
The Education Ministry had no immediate comment, but said they were studying Mr. Park’s claims and would respond to them.
Mr. Park said the authors of many middle and high school history textbooks had undervalued Korea’s dramatic economic growth during the Park Chung Hee administration while stressing its authoritarian character. But, he continued, a bloody purge by Kim Il Sung of his political opponents in North Korea was justified in one textbook as “Korean-style socialism.”


by Kim Jung-ha, Ser Myo-ja


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