Amid growing public concerns over a deadly abuse case in the military, President Park Geun-hye on Wednesday underlined the importance of humanities education as a “fundamental solution to human rights violations.”
Referring to the recent case of a soldier who died after allegedly being beaten by his comrades in their barracks, as well as students being ostracized at schools, Park called for the need to strengthen humanities education to develop character and creativity of the future generation and bring a society that upholds the value of human dignity.
“The goal of our education should be helping one grow as a complete person with a healthy personality and creativity,” Park said during a meeting with the Presidential Committee for Cultural Enrichment. The meeting was attended by scholars, teachers, parents and military officers to share broad ideas, Cheong Wa Dae said.
“(Humanities education) will be a fundamental solution to social problems such as the deadly barrack cases that infringed upon human rights as well as violence at schools,” she said.
The remark came amid mounting criticism over several surfacing cases of abuse in the military. A 23-year-old draftee, identified by the surname Yoon, died in April after being beaten by senior soldiers while they ate together. He was found to have had suffered physical, mental and sexual abuse since being dispatched a month earlier to the Army’s 28th Division in Yeoncheon, Gyeonggi Province. The case sparked widespread public anger as it was revealed some weeks after another tragic incident in the military. In June, an Army Sergeant went on a shooting spree near the border with North Korea, killing five soldiers and wounding seven.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Kwon Oh-sung offered to resign Tuesday to take responsibility for the death of the soldier.
During the meeting, Park was briefed with a government plan devised to revive humanities education and boost the role of public libraries. In a joint project, the ministries of education and culture said they would strengthen humanities education for students at primary and secondary schools to help raise students with positive attitudes and healthy personalities.
All university students will be required to take humanities classes. The government also plans to increase the number of cultural programs at public libraries, museums and art exhibition centers around the country.
By Cho Chung-un (firstname.lastname@example.org)