Don’t take students hostage

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Don’t take students hostage

The standard of education does not outpace the quality of teachers. The future of young minds and the country can be bright when there are teachers with capabilities, the right values, and equilibrium in classrooms. But unfortunately, members of the outlawed Korean Teachers and Education Workers’ Union are heading in the wrong direction.

They published and plan to hand out so-called textbooks on the April 16, 2014, Sewol ferry disaster that could implant misleading information and thoughts in the heads of pupils ahead of the second anniversary of the tragic incident that killed hundreds of high school students. They are abusing out-of-curriculum class time to raise a political controversy ahead of the April 13 general election.

The text narratives are utterly disturbing. In the elementary school handout, President Park Geun-hye is portrayed as a monster who turned a blind eye to dying children. “As the queen’s face twisted, the mask fell off and bared the gruesome face of a monster,” says one sentence followed by a picture of the president shedding tears as she spoke about the incident on May 19, 2014.

In the middle school material, allegations turned into facts. “The passengers were still savable when the diving bell reached the area,” “No one was punished for the tragic accident,” “The crew fled without alerting the passengers upon order from a higher level.” How can the union claim it pursues truth in teaching when it attempts outright to feed lies to students?

The education ministry said the materials were unsuitable for classroom education. Any class distributing and teaching the material will have to get approval from the school steering committee and the headmaster. The union, as always, claims the move as “political oppression.” It is repeating the act of bringing uncensored rumors into classrooms.

The union group turns 27 years old this year. Membership that once reached 100,000 has halved due to excessive political activities. It was outlawed by the appeals court. They must stop their political campaign by holding students hostage. It must withdraw the plan on lectures on the Sewol ferry disaster to show respect to students and parents.

JoongAng Ilbo, Mar. 26, Page 26

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