Schoolchildren are to get 10 hours of lessons per year about Korea's easternmost islets of Dokdo starting in the new school semester this year. The move comes as Japan intensifies propaganda efforts to publicize its dubious colonial claim to the islets.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology mandated Dokdo lessons in 2011 but had not so far decided how much class time would be devoted to the subject.
Elementary schoolchildren will learn to write the names of Korea's islands in order to understand that Dokdo is part of Korea's territory. They will also learn about the animal and plant species that inhabit the islets.
Middle schoolers will get to see historical records showing Dokdo is part of Korean territory, and high schoolers will learn about the subject in the context of international law and modern history.
The 10 hours include both time within the regular curriculum and outside class such as field trips to museums and other extracurricular activities. The ministry plans to distribute auxiliary textbooks on the subject for teachers in March.
"Most schools are already offering between seven to 10 hours of lessons per year about Dokdo, so it will not be difficult to meet the 10-hour annual requirement," said a ministry official.