Is the national education policy controversial for ‘beauty in favor of Japan’?

◀ anchor ▶

The National Education Commission was launched with the intention of preventing the ‘100 year old’ education policy from being shaken by the government.

Former Ewha Womans University president Lee Bae-yong, who has been criticized as a key figure in the textbook promotion of Park Geun-hye’s government, was appointed as the first minister-level chairman.

Controversy has arisen as people with strong political colors have taken important roles in the education industry one after the other recently.

Reporter Jung Young-hoon covered the story.

◀ Report ▶

Lee Bae-yong, former president of Ewha Womans University, was criticized for defending Hwa-ran Kim, a representative pro-Japanese figure.

[박홍근 위원 (2013년 10월 교문위 국정감사)]

“You know Kim Hwa-red, who encouraged conscription and the practice of encouraging comfort women?”

[이배용/당시 한국학중앙연구원장]

“Yes. Teacher Kim Hwa-ran went through such agony and conflict that he even lost his name…”

During the 18th presidential election, candidate Park Geun-hye was compared to Queen Seon-deok, causing controversy.

[이배용/박근혜 대통령 후보 찬조연설 (2012년 12월)]

“As can be seen from the case of Queen Seon-deok (even in our history), female leaders have shown leadership of win-win, harmony, and inclusion. Geun-hye Candidate Park…”

President Yoon Seok-yeol appointed former President Lee as chairman of the National Education Commission.

Former President Lee served as vice-chairman of the Review Committee of the Government Summary of Park Geun-hye and played a leading role in the nationalization of history textbooks represented by ‘pro-Japanese beauty and dictatorship’.

Criticism is being raised that it is inappropriate to have a person who not only has dark political colors but who has also caused controversy over the perspective of history to a position in charge of education policy.

[박순준/한국사립대교수회연합회 자문위원장]

“In the field of education, it is a movement that was launched with the intention at least for the opposition parties to take a step back to reach an agreement and draw up a long-term plan…”

[유기홍/국회 교육위원장]

“The political bias is too strong, and, to be honest, I see him as someone who has been active in (improper) politics.”

The other four members of the president’s recommendation portion, including Kang Eun-hee, superintendent of education in Daegu City, who took the lead in creating public opinion in support of state textbooks, are also clearly conservative.

The president and members nominated by an opposition party make up two-thirds of the total, raising concerns about whether they will be able to maintain ‘political neutrality’.

Attorney Shinpyeong, who was appointed as a member of the Private School Dispute Mediation Committee, which manages corrupt private schools on the recommendation of the president, also gives birth.

Attorney Shin defended an allegation of Kim Gun-hee’s thesis plagiarism as “ordinary,” while publicly supporting President Yoon.

Education and academic groups called for his resignation, saying, “The history of disputes will go into more chaos” because of the irrational person.

This is Young-Hoon Jung from MBC News.

Video Editing: Yang Hong-seok

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