Wednesday, May 14, 2008

ROK Government to Correct Biased History Textbooks

Koreans criticise Japanese history textbooks about its biasness.
However, Korean history textbooks has been an object of criticism due to its lopsideness, too.
In response to such criticism over the biased contents of modern history and social studies textbooks, the government has decided to overhaul their contents.

The Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Kim Do-yeon said,
“Korea’s modern history should be a source of pride. Therefore, it is not right to look down at our modern history. I think our history textbooks and education are a bit biased to the left.”

This statement shows that its direction will be to the right to certain degree. Korean history textbook issue is an epitome of ideologies differences. It was much more noticeable in the modern history than ancient ones. Perspectives about certain historic events including the Korean War, 4.19 movement, 5.16 coup and evaluation of each administration demonstrates such ideology discrepancy, in particular. Four history textbooks approved by the Ministry of Education in 2002, for example, describe Kim Young-sam administration negatively as corrupted, on the contrary, Kim Dae-jung administration positvely as progressive.
History education has readily been manipulated by political power or other factors, as observed in the Nazism and Facism durint the WWII. We all remember that Hitler's lopsided historic perception brought about huge tragedy to the world.
Thus, I surmise that nothing is more significant than educating impartial history to students, not only for students, but also for the future of the nation. In order to accomplish this goal, it is essential to seek for agreeable point of fair and just history through constant discussion. It is closer to a never-ending task given the whole society. We should acknowledge that history is not the process to get correct answer, but the consistent efforts to move toward the desirable interpretations.

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