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Leftist Accounts in History Textbooks Face Revision

Posted October. 31, 2008 09:13,   


Certain descriptions in high school history textbooks considered leftist will be revised before year’s end.

The government urged yesterday revision of 102 items out of 253 controversial descriptions in six high school textbooks on modern Korean history that the Education, Science and Technology Ministry asked the National Institute of Korean History to review.

Among those subject to revision are 55 descriptions that have been ordered to be edited because they undermine the legitimacy of the Republic of Korea.

A host of government and civil organizations have requested the revisions to six textbook publishers. Among them, 102 items will be voluntarily revised by textbook authors and 96 considered to have little effect on the curriculum will be left to the discretion of authors, the ministry said.

“The 96 descriptions left to author discretion are also expected to undergo changes, so a combined 198 descriptions will be revised,” a ministry official said. “The revision will be completed at the end of November so that the new textbooks for the next school year starting in March can reflect the changed content.”

For the 55 descriptions that textbook authors rejected to edit, the ministry requested a mandatory revision and will revise them in consultation with the authors by the end of November.

The items subject to the mandatory revision are descriptions that the Republic of Korea is responsible for division of the Korean Peninsula; the country was established amid a lack of national spirit; and others that ignore the reality in North Korea.

The ministry said its decision was made based on if the descriptions violated the legitimacy of the Republic of Korea and if they match the academic level of high school students.

A counsel of history experts formed in mid-October reviewed the 253 disputed descriptions based on opinions from the National Institute of Korean History.