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Revised History Textbooks In Works

Posted August. 15, 2006 03:13,   


As academia takes issue with faulty descriptions and ideologically-biased contents in the modern history of the current high school textbooks, conservative senior scholars have come forward to write a new history textbook.

The academic circle said on August 14, which is comprised of seven elder scholars including emeritus professor of Seoul National University Ahn Byung-jik, that it held the first round of meetings on July 11 and started its project of forming a “committee on editing the new modern history textbook of Korea.”

Ahn, who leads the committee, is the editor-in-chief and Lee In-ho, a professor of Myongji University and former ambassador to Russia, Lew Young-ick, an endowed chair professor of Yonsei Graduate School of International Studies and former vice president of Hallym University, Lee Joo-young, professor of Konkuk University, Choi Moon-hyung, honorary professor of Hanyang University, Chairman Lee Sung-moo of Association of Korean History and Culture, and Shin Bok-ryong, professor of Konkuk University, are members of the committee.

“Modern history in the current six textbooks including Kumsung Publishing Company is written from the perspective of the public movement, which leaves the developmental history of Korea imperfect and implies that only Korea’s reunification can make modern history whole,” said the committee to demonstrate their intention for the project.

Kumsung Publishing Company’s history textbook, which 754 high schools adopt and boasts a higher than 50 percent adoption rate, depicts that “the establishment of the government of South Korea means the failure of establishing a national government,” and “founding a nation based on national spirit ended up in failure.”

Professor Shin Bok-ryong, who is known to be liberal, said, “Regardless of ideology, current history textbooks are coarse and contain too many errors so we need to correct these,” saying the reason why he decided to participate in this project.

“Kumsung textbook is leaning toward Yeo Woon-hyung, not former President Lee Seung-man, as the legitimate national leader after the liberalization from the Japanese colonial rule, and it depicts as if a leftist government has authority on the Korean peninsula,” said Shin.

Regarding the direction of the new textbook, there are principles: the new textbook depicts history with the formation, development and future of the Republic of Korea; as political relations determined economic relations in Korea’s modern history, the textbook writes about political relationship first, followed by economic relationships; social movements including independent movement comes after politics and economy.

They will have the second round of meetings within this month to discuss contents of the new book and plan on finishing the project in March next year with scholars of the New Right.

Meanwhile, the Textbook Forum, launched last January in order to correct ideological tendency of the current textbooks, is set to start its own project of writing a modern history textbook.