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Gov't unveils plan for state-authored history textbooks Updated: 2015-10-13 04:06:25 KST



Starting in 2017, history textbooks for middle and high school students will be published by the government, and only the government.
The Ministry of Education announced their revision to the authorization of textbooks Monday, amid an ongoing dispute between conservatives and liberals over the issue.
Education minister Hwang Woo-yea said the government will enforce implementation, after a mandatory 20-day wait period.
Currently, eight private publishers are in charge of printing textbooks after receiving approval from an independent review committee.
The Park administration has been citing an essential need for uniformity, saying the debate of ideological biases in society needs to be ended, and that many private publishers are too leftist, which in some cases, leads to factual mistakes.


"We came to the conclusion that it's impossible to solve the essence of the problem, by correcting every single error in textbooks made by private publishers and writers.
That's why the government decided to correct those."

State control of history textbook publishing is not new.
The government had previously authorized history textbooks up until six years ago.
President Park Geun-hye's father Park Chung-hee introduced the system in 1974 when he was Korea's sitting president -- praised for his hand in pushing the country's fast economic development also heavily criticized for his dictatorial rule.
The debate on the reintroduction of a single history textbook is only expected to flare as more teachers, historians, and opposition parties weigh in with objections.
The main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy has already submitted a motion to dismiss the education minister, for making the textbook announcement, despite strong resistance.
Kwon Soa, Arirang News.
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