December 28, 2016 11:05
The Education Ministry has scrapped a pet project of President Park Geun-hye's to foist official history textbooks on schools.
The controversial plan was to correct what the government sees as leftwing bias in the current, commercially published textbooks and among other things take a kinder view of Park's father, strongman Park Chung-hee.
The ministry in a face-saving announcement Tuesday said schools that want to use the new state-authored textbooks can do so on a pilot basis next year and will get a subsidy if they do, and all schools can choose from academic year 2018.
With that, the plan is effectively dead in the water as the next administration is unlikely to be enamored of any legacy strongly linked to Park, who is battling impeachment.
It started to falter the moment she became engulfed in a snowballing corruption scandal.
Until then, the ministry valiantly pushed ahead with the project, battling heavy public criticism and struggling to find historians willing to be associated with a Park-approved version of the country's recent past.
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