South Korea’s history textbook row taken to court

Seoul, Dec 22 (IANS) A group of lawyers filed an appeal to the Constitutional Court on Tuesday over the South Korean government’s move to reintroduce state-authored history textbooks for secondary school students.

The Lawyers for a Democratic Society claim that the government’s decision to publish national textbooks violates the constitution, which stipulates autonomy in education, The Korea Herald reported.

Late September, the government announced it would revise the current textbook publication system so that middle and high school students will learn Korean history through national textbooks starting in 2017.

Currently, history textbooks for secondary schools are published by eight private publishing companies and subject to government approval for use, while primary schools have a single set of state-authored history textbooks.

The group argued that the government’s move to monopolise the interpretation of history infringes on parents’ rights to make decisions about their children’s education and teachers’ rights in their classes.

Facebook most popular in South Korea

Facebook is the most popular social networking service in South Korea this year, out-doing other global and local platforms, a poll released on Tuesday showed.

According to a survey by market researcher DMC Media on 780 users aged between 19 and 59, Facebook emerged far ahead of others with 59.8 percent picking it out as their most-used social networking tool, The Korea Herald reported.

KakaoStory, a photo-sharing service, followed with 17.1 percent.

Instagram came next with 10.3 percent, followed by group-interaction service BAND operated by Naver Corp. with 8.2 percent.

Naver operates South Korea’s most-visited web portal and also has free messenger LINE under its wing.

Twitter accounted for 2.4 percent.

By age group, those in their 40s and 50s preferred KakaoStory and BAND services which can be shared with only authorised acquaintances, while younger users in their teens and 20s chose global brands, such as Facebook and Twitter, the survey showed.

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