North Korea shortens language learning time in kindergartens



North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently issued an order to reduce the time spent studying the North Korean language in kindergartens across the country. This decision sparked controversy among some parents of children.

A source from North Hamgyong Province told the Daily NK on September 13 that “recently our language study time in kindergartens across the country has dropped from three hours to one hour.” The source added that “this is the result of a policy issued in mid-August by our Supreme Leader [Kim] that “spending many hours studying our language can have a negative effect on the growth and development of children”.

According to the source, the new policy requires kindergarten programs to provide sufficient education so that students can “only write their own names and numbers one through 30.”

Until now, preschool education has consisted of studying the childhood of Kim Il Song and Kim Jong Il, the North Korean language, counting, calculating the abacus, singing and dancing.

These five hours of daily lessons are now reduced to three. However, this was done by reducing the time spent studying the language per day from three hours to one hour, without touching other subjects.

North Korean children / Image: Seokwang

This change further highlights the “child-friendly” policies of the Kim Jong Un regime by showing a particular interest in the promotion and loyalty of the younger generations to the party and the state. In fact, this decision can be interpreted as an attempt to strengthen the solidarity of the regime through the so-called “politics of love for the people”.

However, contrary to this goal, discontent has surfaced among parents who are unhappy that the language has been singled out in the reduction and who feel that authorities are preventing children from acquiring “necessary life skills”.

The source said that “people these days don’t have a lot of children, so if they only have one child, they really want to raise it properly. For this reason, they ask themselves “isn’t this too much reduction in the time devoted to the study of our language”, which is a really basic and fundamental subject? “

Nevertheless, the authorities have instituted oversight and control mechanisms to closely monitor compliance with the policy. For example, they ordered that children do not have to study the North Korean language after school or at home, and they instructed regular teachers to keep related workbooks at school.

The source explained that “inspection teams made up of provincial and municipal education officials even examine children’s bags on their way home from school to confirm whether kindergartens comply with party policies.”

The source added that “a threatening directive has been issued among teachers that if inspectors find language exercise books in kindergarten bags on their way home from school, their teachers will be punished with one month or more. no longer in a forced labor camp. “

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