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Government sets up task force on history research, education

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Published : 2014-01-19 20:00
Updated : 2014-01-19 20:00

The government has set up a task force to support Korean history research and education as part of its ongoing efforts to strengthen the field, officials said Sunday.

According to officials of the Ministry of Education, the special team was established within the ministry to implement the government’s comprehensive plan announced in August to strengthen history education to better counter false claims by neighboring countries.

The government said in August it will include Korean history in the national college entrance exam as a required subject beginning in 2017 for the first time in 24 years. All high school seniors are required to take the exam for college admissions.

Politicians and opinion leaders have long argued that the country’s teenagers do not have proper understanding of history at a time when neighboring nations such as Japan and China continue their attempts to distort history for their advantage.

The newly established team will be tasked with supporting research projects by colleges and relevant institutions and drawing up a comprehensive plan on how to carry out the study of history in a professional and efficient manner, according to ministry officials.

In a move to support history education at schools, the team will also nurture teachers well-versed in the subject and provide them with teaching guidelines, they added.

“The role and scale of the task force would be expanded in accordance with its progress,” an official said.

While failing to resolve longstanding grievances stemming from its 1910-45 colonization of the Korean Peninsula, Japan has been taking rightward moves including visits to the controversial shrine of Yasukuni in Tokyo, which honors Class A war criminals, and renewed territorial claims to South Korea’s easternmost islets of Dokdo.

Under its history research project, dubbed “The Northeast Project,” China has made an attempt to incorporate Korean history of Koguryo (37 B.C.-A.D. 668) and Balhae (698-926) kingdoms into its own, which Seoul rejects as a political motivation to assert its own grandeur while seeking to emerge as an Asian and global hegemony. (Yonhap News)

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