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New history textbooks to be drafted by next January

Posted October. 09, 2015 07:22,   


While the official announcement is yet to be made, the Ministry of Education will announce the plan to nationalize Korean history textbooks for middle and high schools on Oct. 12 at the earliest and then immediately start transitioning to the nationalized textbooks.

The first step is to determine if authorities approve textbooks for secondary schools before its official announcement. In general, legislative notification and administrative notification are given in order to receive opinions from the people concerning main agendas. But since further opinions would not make a change, this step is no more than a formality. The ministry will set the administrative notification for 20 days and make an official announcement of their decision to implement the nationally approved and standardized textbooks in early November.

The national history textbook will certainly be published by the National Institute of Korean History (NIKH). According to regulations on textbooks, national textbooks should be published by the Ministry of Education by principle, but if necessary institutes or universities can be commissioned to do the work.

NIKH will invite writers among history scholars and teachers, set a writing standard, and then start the work immediately. The ministry plans to finish a draft for review by the next Spring semester, to use a sample textbook at some schools in the fall semester, and to distribute to all secondary schools in 2017.

However, some speculate that the project will face difficulties with inviting certified writers amid a growing backlash from the history academia. Another concern is that the new textbooks would not be qualified due to the short period of time given to the writers.