November 24, 2015 10:55
Forty-seven people have been selected for a controversial project to write official history textbooks for use in middle and high schools.
The state-run National Institute of Korean History said Monday that 26 authors were selected for the middle-school books and 21 authors for the high-school texts. They are to get to work next month on the textbooks that will replace the current commercially published textbooks in 2017.
The Park Geun-hye administration aims to rectify what it calls leftwing bias in the existing textbooks, but critics fear it will simply replace it with its own rightwing bias.
The institute claimed the authors are experienced scholars and teachers but in yet another controversial move declined to reveal their identities.
Earlier this month, the institute selected 17 authors from among 56 eager applicants, while 30 were hand-picked. Most academics at leading universities have vowed to boycott the project.
The institute said the current textbooks are written by at most a dozen authors each but it decided to "get more people involved."
An Education Ministry official said the names of the authors will remain undisclosed for the time being to shield them from "outside pressure."
The textbooks are to be completed by November 2016 and distributed to schools in March of 2017 after a review by experts and state research institutes.
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