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Lawmakers Censure Korean Teachers Union

Posted November. 03, 2005 07:19,   


The ruling and opposition parties were both critical of the policies of the Korean Teachers and Education Workers’ Union (KTEWU) yesterday, saying that the extent of “ideologically biased education” about political and social issues offered by the union has reached at a dangerous level.

Grand National Party (GNP) spokeswoman Chun Yu-ok made public teaching materials related to the Jeju April 3 Uprising and the abolishment of the National Security Law, posted on the KTEWU’s website.

According to Chun, some pictures, including a cruel torture scene depicting a victim being seared by a hot iron, and police officers hanging a resident who protested by the neck on a tree, were freely included among the Jeju April 3 Uprising materials.

Regarding the repeal of the National Security Law over which the political sector has been at loggerheads with each other, the materials show the law as an evil law and insist that it should be repealed. Teaching materials about the National Security Law even include statements that suggest violating the law, which in effect incites students to violate it.

After these provocative and ideologically biased materials were discovered on the KTEWU’s website, about 80 postings written by parents of students saying that they would rather educate their children at home and that teachers belonging to the KTEWU should resign were posted on its website bulletin board.

The GNP has decided to set up a Special Committee for Educating Children Right, and actively take action against the KTEWU’s education on the same day.

Ruling Uri Party vice floor leader Oh Young-sik, in charge of public information, said, “Those materials hinder children who have sensitive sentiments from developing their reasonable and right viewpoints.”

Democratic Labor Party lawmaker Roh Hoe-chan said, “The KTEWU is too radical.”

Meanwhile, with increasing public criticism over an anti-APEC summit video, the Busan Office of the KTEWU took the video off its website on the same day. However, a KTEWU spokesperson said, “We will cancel the controversial scene featuring U.S. President George W. Bush’s four-letter words and post the remains again.”

Yong-Gwan Jung Dong-Yong Min yongari@donga.com mindy@donga.com