[EDITORIALS]Denigrating our own pastA reference book designed to improve the teaching of modern history and distributed among Korea’s high schools by the Ministry of Education has been found to contain just as much ideological prejudice as previous history textbooks had.
The Textbook Forum, a movement by intellectuals to criticize and analyze problems in middle and high school textbooks and to suggest solutions to them, has claimed they doubt that the authors of the ministry’s reference book fully understand the significance of Korea’s foundation in the history of civilization. For instance, the Textbook Forum said the most important event in 20th century Korea was the foundation of the country on Aug. 15, 1948, but the ministry’s data simply refers to it as an event in which a Korean government was established by the U.S. military administration and some political forces following the nation’s liberation.
Also, the ministry’s book gives as much weight to North Korean history as to South Korean history, and describes South Koreans as people who meekly obeyed the ultra-right, anti-communist dictatorship.
This depiction of Korean citizens, who chose liberal democracy after their liberation, should be criticized for being self-deprecating. This will lead students to have distorted historical view on the international situation then.