No pro-North teachings in class

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No pro-North teachings in class

It is shocking that four members of the liberal Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union were prosecuted for propagating the juche (self-reliance) ideology of North Korea. They turned out to have devotedly injected the failed ideology of the North into the minds of young students under the guise of educators.

The government cannot avoid criticism for leaving the situation unattended even when a pro-Pyongyang group took students hostage to foster a communist revolution. We are dumbfounded by the teachers’ critical violation of our educational values.

The prosecution first cracked down on a pro-North group set up by members of the leftist teachers union. The four arrested teachers include a former senior deputy chairman of the Ktewu (Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union)- a core member who substantially leads the union under the chairman. The remaining three also turned out to have played a crucial role in running the union as executives of the headquarters or branch offices. The gang of four could be just a tip of the iceberg because a number of students could have been exposed to the nonsensical education based on juche.

The pro-North Korea union has vehemently criticized the conservative Lee Myung-bak administration for allegedly suppressing teachers’ rights to education by brushing aside society’s deepening worries about the union’s off-the-track approach to North Korean issues. It lambasted the government when the police conducted a search and seizure at the house of a senior deputy chairman of the union.

The union now must make clear if it will take responsibility for spreading North Korean ideology. At the same time, it must stop teaching students about communist ideology which denies the identity and legitimacy of the Republic of Korea and get rid of any factions or individuals bent on upholding the recalcitrant regime in Pyongyang.

It would constitute a brazen violation of our educational values for some union members to choose North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s statements as a class motto. Would parents send their kids to schools where teachers worship his ideology in the classroom? The government must strictly punish the teachers for their bold-faced manipulation of immature students. It is time for schools and parents to prevent schools from becoming a venue for pro-North education.
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