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Seoul to educate students on Myanmar crisis

Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education Superintendent Cho Hee-yeon (Yonhap)
Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education Superintendent Cho Hee-yeon (Yonhap)
The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education said Tuesday that it would provide educational materials for schools in the city on the violence of the military government in Myanmar and how it is oppressing the country’s people.

The package, consisting of PowerPoint slides, a workbook and a guidebook for teachers, comes in two versions depending on grade level. To make it accessible to multicultural students who aren’t fluent in Korean, the office said, the package will also be available in English and Chinese.

The education office said it put the package together for students of all backgrounds in line with its philosophy of embracing educational opportunities for everyone. The materials can be downloaded from the Seoul Multicultural Education Support Center’s website for classroom use.

“We have delicately designed this educational material in consideration of the psychological and emotional state of students who spent the whole year of 2020 under an unpredictable situation from COVID-19,” the Seoul education office said in a statement.

“When talking of oppression and violence, it is important to engage in conversations in a safe atmosphere for everyone in consideration of students with traumas.”

The educational office said it hoped students would learn how their individual actions could have an impact on society by understanding the different layers of the Myanmar citizens’ movement from a critical perspective. “Protecting the peace of neighbors is the same as protecting my own” is the key message, it added.

The office said the program would help cultivate students with a global mindset, who would learn how democratization takes place in other countries as it did in Korea in the past. It held an online workshop for teachers on Friday on how to introduce the material in class.

“We are desperately waiting for spring in Myanmar,” said Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education Superintendent Cho Hee-yeon in a statement. “We will provide support to grow students in Seoul to become global citizens who act with the mind of coexistence and solidarity.”

By Ko Jun-tae (