North Korean Education

From the Daily NK:
Yang Jung A

The DailyNK received a North Korean 1st grade elementary school language textbook published in 2005. At present, the North Korea Database Center in Ministry of Unification is only in possession of a textbook published in 2003.

The 1st grade elementary school language textbook is similar to textbooks in South Korea, focusing on reading skills, writing and acquisition of basic vocabulary.

However, if South Korean textbooks utilize examples of daily life so that children may easily comprehend the content, then 80% of the content in North Korean textbooks can be said to be focused on idolizing the leader.

Excluding three classic tales such as ‘The ant and the grasshopper’ and ‘The green frog,’ the storybook uses information about Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il idolization to improve reading skills

Also, other related symbolic topics such as Mangyongdae traditional home, Kuho-namu(trees with carving idolization slogan about Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il), Triuphal Arch, Battle of Bocheonbo, and Kim Jong Il peak of a mountain are used as materials to develop language skills.

On a page ‘Introduction to Day 1’ are expressions indebting all school life to Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il such as “Our respective General Kim Il Sung had visited our school. We were infinitely happy to have our respective general visit our school on the first day.”

In a passage ‘I want to study,’ South Korean children are portrayed as unable to pay school fees and thus are expelled from school. This page teaches North Korean children that South Korean children “know nothing except money in a rotten world, and hate the U.S. and leaders who are blocking their future.”

In particular, irrespective of being a textbook for 1st graders, warlike expressions such as ‘Let’s become the honorific dictator’s heroic army’ and ‘Strike the Americans with kid tanks’ frequently appear in the books.

References to hostility and a glorified military that appear in half the book teaches children that they must become soldiers when they grow older.

Only 7 years old. The truth is North Korean children are taught to become the leader’s gun and bombs since the first day of school unto eternity.


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