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Ministry approves eight new history textbooks

Ministry approves eight new history textbooks

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Published : 2013-12-10 20:12
Updated : 2013-12-10 20:12

The Ministry of Education on Tuesday approved eight revised Korean history textbooks, including one authored by conservative scholars, for use in high schools from next year.

“(The ministry’s) special committee have analyzed the revised texts and decided to approve all eight textbooks,” Education Minister Seo Nam-soo said at a news conference Tuesday.

After an initial approval by a state-run history text screening body on Aug. 30, the ministry ordered publishers to revise 829 sections it deemed to be incorrect, obscure or imbalanced on Sept. 10.

After the revision was made, the government ordered a second amendment of 41 unchanged parts on Nov. 29.

The minister noted that each high school would be able to select from among the eight textbooks from next year and the distribution would be completed by February.

The conflicts over new history textbooks started after the National Institute of Korean History, the screening panel commissioned by the ministry, authorized in late August the textbook from Kyohak Publishing Co. along with seven others to be used at high schools from next year.

Progressives had accused Kyohak’s textbook of putting forward slanted views, distortions, errors and plagiarism. Its authors and conservatives, however, called it a major fix to the “defeatist and self-deprecating” views that they see dominating Korea’s history education.

Despite the ministry’s final confirmation, the dispute over the screening process of history textbooks is likely to continue, as the authors vowed to defy the ministry’s revision order.

The authors of seven history textbooks, excluding those from Kohak Publishing Co., submitted a lawsuit against the order, accusing the ministry of abusing its authority.

By Oh Kyu-wook (

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