[EDITORIALS]Indoctrination as education

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[EDITORIALS]Indoctrination as education

The screen actor Choi Min-sik gave a lecture to high school students a few days ago, during a special class organized by members of the Korean Teachers and Educational Workers Union.
The title of the class was “The Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and Korean Society,” but its real theme was fostering opposition to an FTA between the two countries, especially to a reduction of Korea’s screen quota system, which requires movie theaters to show domestic films for at least 146 days per year.
“I cross my heart and hope to die,” Mr. Choi said during the lecture, “If the talks go as the United States intends, the damage will fall on you. Please, don’t remain indifferent.”
Mr. Choi, as one of the people directly affected by the screen quota system, has the right to express his own view about the system and an FTA between Korea and the United States.
But it is far from proper to express such views during a highschool class organized by unionized teachers.
An FTA between Korea and the United States is an issue of the nationwide interest and the number of those in favor of and against the pact are nearly equal.
If teachers inoculcate students with only a one-sided view of such a sensitive issue, it cannot be called a true education.
Young students whose senses are not yet fully mature could take a view of a pop star such as Mr. Choi to be the truth.
Teenagers get widely excited at the every word and act of stars and imitate their words and deeds.
As for the class in which Mr. Choi participated, not only the classroom, but also the hallways were crowded with students who wanted to see him.
That’s why stars should be careful about their words and behavior. Giving only one-sided arguments to young students is propaganda disguised as education.
The JoongAng Ilbo has called the Korean Teachers and Educational Workers Union’s special classes into question several times.
The member teachers’ anti-globalization classes regarding the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference and classes about the private school laws and irregular workers have all been criticized for being biased.
Yet they never admit their faults, and now have even invited an actor to strengthen their classes.
The union should stop indoctrinating students with their ideology.
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