[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]What’s propaganda?

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[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]What’s propaganda?

It was with great interest that I started reading the editorial “Propaganda for Students” (June 29). It was about how The Korea Teachers and Educational Workers Union will use this week to promote anti-war and peace in the classrooms nationwide after the brutal killing of Kim Sun-il by terrorists in Iraq. As part of this plan they will convince their students that sending troops to Iraq is wrong, the editorial said. The editorial also said that the material to be used in the classroom was too one-sided.
I agree. It is tasteless for educators to use such a tragic incident to promote their own political views. Students should of course have the opportunity to discuss the incident, but to provide developing minds with ready-made solutions is not a good idea.
How great that someone is raising his voice against political propaganda in the classroom! I expected the writer to go on and suggest that the teachers should provide the students with all relevant parties’ views and then encourage open discussion, free expression and the development of the mind in the classrooms.
However, I must say I was very disappointed when I got halfway through the text. Here, the editorial actually suggested that the union should teach students “the need to send troops.” How ironic. After blaming the union for using political propaganda in the classroom, the suggestion is to replace the propaganda with that of another point of view?
In your view, dear editor, is it ok for teachers to tell students that Korea needs to send troops, but is it propaganda to tell them that Korea should not send troops? Can you please define the word “propaganda”?

by Siri Vaule
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