[EDITORIALS]Teachers’ war propagandaTeachers who belong to the Korean Teachers and Education Workers’ Union and oppose the U.S.-led war on Iraq are conducting anti-war workshops for primary, middle and high school students. Voices of alarm and worry from parents are being heard. There is no harm in giving lessons on current affairs of international concern. But what matters is the content of the education.
The purpose of education is not imbuing an ideology; education should help students develop a balanced way of thinking, with which they will make sound judgements. Regarding the war on Iraq, it has been reported that the teachers tell students that war should be opposed because it destroys peace. They do not teach students why a war broke out. They do not give a balanced explanation on the views of both sides.
Teaching material provided by the Unification Committee of the teachers union says: “The current Iraq war is one-sided massacre without cause at the minimum level.” It further says: “The blood Iraqis bleed today heralds the death of Korean people tomorrow. This war is a prelude to a worldwide war and perhaps a step toward a war on the Korean Peninsula.” Moreover, it denounces those who score less than 80 points on a questionnaire based on the material, as “a person looking like a Korean outwardly, but in practice more likely to be an American.” This means that they do not hesitate to bully students who do not share their ideology. This is hardly an education. This is an act of ideological indoctrination with the intention of making students slaves of certain political thought.
The material also carries wretched photos of children victimized during the Gulf war and an article on the Nogun-ri massacre during the Korean War. It is intended to deepen the anti-American sentiment expanding among Koreans since the death of two school-girls. If they are devoted to education, teachers should stop spouting their political ideology. Instead, they should endeavor to help students open their eyes to wider horizons so that they can make the right decision. Education authorities should stop being overpowered by the teachers union, they must supervise teachers and guide them to teach students in the correct way.