Students to get lessons on DokdoKorea’s schools are being asked to strengthen educational programs about the eastern islets of Dokdo in an effort to counteract Japan’s repeated territorial claims to them, the Education Ministry said yesterday.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said it has recommended that local education offices develop curriculums and guidelines on Dokdo and instructed them to facilitate special classes in elementary, middle and high schools.
“Although it is not mandatory for the local education offices, we recommended that they have classes [on Dokdo] over 10 hours a year at their discretion,” Woo Won-jae, a ministry official, said. “We will [explain] class guidelines later this month so that district schools can realize the importance of Dokdo education.”
The effort is the latest in a series of government moves to strengthen the education of young students on the historical basis of Korea’s claim to the islets, also claimed by Japan.
Dokdo has effectively been under South Korean control, with a Coast Guard unit stationed there, since 1954.
In a related move, the ministry recently completed supervising the editing process of new high school history textbooks, which will be used in March under the new guideline that calls for in-depth references to Dokdo during and after Japanese colonial rule, officials said.