The Real Agenda behind the Opposition to “The Correct Textbook of History"
The Real Agenda behind the Opposition to “The Correct Textbook of History"
  • By Jung Yeon-tae (
  • 승인 2015.10.29 13:17
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Jung Yeon-tae, Chairman of the National Innovation Forum

Pro-North Korean sympathizers and followers’ plot to subvert the South Korean government, leftist academic circles’ struggle not to unwind financial entanglements and the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD)’s opportunistic political move are the driving force behind the opposition to the South Korean government’s push for the reintroduction of state-authored history textbooks

Do left-wing academics really think that our children are taught the nation’s correct history at school

An analysis of historical research projects (2011-2015), funded by the state-run National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), showed that studies on the Kim Dae-jung government made up 41 percent of the NRF’s support for modern history studies, and those on the Roh Moo-hyun government 38 percent, almost double what studies on the Lee Myung-bak government and the Park Geun-hye government accounted for.

It means that while the nation was under the leadership of left-leaning presidents, historical studies were encouraged to focus on the nation’s modern history.

In addition, among the authors of school history textbooks, the percentage of teachers belonging to the Korean Teachers & Educational Workers' Union (KTU) ballooned 7-fold over the past 10 years.

Forty-two percent of the authors of the 2014 Korean history textbooks were KTU members, The Dong-A Ilbo reported on October 17, 2015.

In other words, more ideologically biased academics took part in publishing school history textbooks. The bottom line is that schools are teaching from history textbooks hovering ideologically lopsided views.

Then, what’s the most direct cause for their aversion to state-issued history textbooks

It all boils down to their fears of losing their vested political and financial interests.

Their interests are inseparably intertwined with leftist cartels enjoying vested interests. To sever the collusion between the two, we need to make a tough call now.

What underlies the NPAD’s opposition to state-issued history textbooks

The dominant view is that NPAD Leader Moon Jae-in is unable to lead the NPAD to victory in the 2016 general elections due to repeated election defeats, falling approval ratings and discord and disunity within the NPAD. Thus, the NPAD is scrambling to nitpick at the government and the ruling Saenuri Party, joining hands with progressives, leftists, pro-North Korean sympathizers and followers.

The NPAD consistently argues that the government is pushing for the state-issued history textbook plan to glorify the legacies of pro-Japanese collaborators and dictatorships.

Their argument rings hollow and doesn’t add up.

What’s the nature of the NPAD’s ties with civic groups representing progressive, leftist, pro-North Korean forces

The current history textbooks say that the Korean War inevitably broke out because of frequent military conflict between the South and the North along the Military Demarcation Line (MDL).

The current history textbooks contain no criticism of the Kim dynasty’s father-to-son power succession and autocracy, achieved though a bloody massacre of people and destruction of North Korean residents’ living environment.

They solely shed light on the darkest period of the ideological conflict in the process of the nation going through democratization and industrialization. Are they really correct history textbooks

Teachers who have to teach students both the achievements and mistakes made by President Rhee Seung-man and President Park Chung-hee deny the foundation of the Republic of Korea, describe it as a nation that started off on the wrong foot and turn a blind eye on the remarkable economic accomplishments.

Their ways of teaching children history have our children feeling ashamed of their nationality. Is it all right

Do those opponents want our children to be taught continuously from the wrong history textbooks

Leftists engrossed in protecting their vested interest, the NPAD jostling to hold political hegemony by distracting attention away from its waning political fortunes and internal division and other forces trying to discourage our children from making confident strides towards the world all have banded together and are up in arms against the government’ efforts to make thighs right in school history classes.

It is about protecting their interests; those cartels are rearing their ugly heads.

Not to let the public fall for their misleading arguments, we should straighten things out.

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