Gov't to Unveil Official History Textbook Drafts as Plan Flags

  • By Jung Nok-yong

    November 28, 2016 10:26

    The government is set to publish a draft version of state-authored history textbooks on Monday amid signs that the plan is flagging as President Park Geun-hye loses her clout.

    The textbooks for middle and high school will be available on the Education Ministry's website, which will also name the historians who helped write them. Opinions will be gathered until Dec. 23 with a view to publishing the final version in January 2017.

    A student browses at a bookstore in Seoul on Sunday.

    There are growing calls to scrap the pet project of President Park Geun-hye's as she goes down in flames over a massive corruption scandal, but the government is determined to push ahead with rectifying what it sees as leftwing bias in the current, commercially published textbooks.

    But it no longer seems so sure about foisting the new textbooks on every school in the country. The most likely plan now is that schools will be allowed to choose between existing textbooks and the official ones.

    "After seeing reactions to the draft version, we will consider how to proceed," Education Minister Lee Joon-sik said Sunday.

    A Cheong Wa Dae official said, "We are not scrapping our plans for the official textbooks and plan to hold discussions with the Education Ministry after hearing the opinions of the public."

    But since Park's approval rating has plummeted to a record-low four percent, it remains to be seen how much heft Cheong Wa Dae still wields in the matter.

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