South Korea's education ministry on Monday unveiled an administrative measure to introduce state-designated history textbooks for secondary school students.
According to the measure, history books for middle and high schoolers will be authored by the government for the 2017 school year.
Currently, eight private publishing companies print history textbooks after winning approval from the government for use in middle and high schools. Schools choose from any of the eight textbooks while primary schools have a single sort of state-authored history textbook.
The government has raised the need to forge a common understanding of history in a country where people are divided ideologically.
The current publication system was introduced six years ago. Before, the government had been in charge of publishing history textbooks since 1974.
But the decision is expected to trigger fierce resistance from opposition political parties, left-leaning historians and educators.
The main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy already proposed the ruling Saenuri Party to conduct a parliamentary probe into the current publication system, saying that any change in the system requires a social consensus. (Yonhap)