SKorean state history textbook blocked by court

Controversial state-published history textbooks lose momentum following expulsion of President Park Geun-hye 

SKorean state history textbook blocked by court

World Bulletin / News Desk

South Korea’s unpopular move to introduce state-published history textbooks hit a further snag Friday, as a local court temporarily blocked their use.

The aim to achieve “a solid historical viewpoint and sense of pride in our country” through education was a signature policy of the recently expelled President Park Geun-hye.

But the original plan to forcibly introduce the state’s own history materials at middle and high schools this year came unstuck in line with months of anti-Park rallies culminating in her December impeachment for abuse of power.

Schools were then given the chance to sign up to use the official textbooks voluntarily ahead of their scheduled release nationwide from 2018.

Almost every school declined to do so, except Munmyeong High School in the southeast of the country -- traditionally conservative territory.

Still, parents and students protested the decision and some took their claim that the textbooks were unfairly adopted by the school’s foundation head and principal to Daegu District Court, which suspended use of the materials pending a further ruling.

The books have been widely criticized for taking a right-leaning stance on a tumultuous twentieth century in South Korea -- including by glossing over negative aspects of post-war authoritarian rule under Park’s late father Park Chung-hee.

In any case, Seoul is gearing up for major changes in May when the nation holds a snap election to pick a new president.

Victory for a liberal contender such as frontrunner Moon Jae-in could see many of Park’s more contentious policies undone.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Mart 2017, 10:52