Movements toward Korean unification 2
Movements toward Korean unification 2
  • Ewha Voice
  • 승인 2016.08.29 19:21
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Efforts of universities and government on unification education
More than 60 years have passed since the division of Korea, and the generation keeps changing. Within this time, the government’s effort to educate students about the need for unification started in the 1970s and has continued since then. However, with the comparatively insufficient educational base in universities than in elementary to high school, government and universities are cooperating to continue an awareness of unification.
The Ministry of Unification and the Korean Political Science Association are going to support universities for education on unification dividing this education into two groups, “Omnibus Special Lectures” and “Unification•North Korea Course Projects.” On June 21, they announced that about 30 universities, including Chung-Ang University and Kyung Hee University, will participate in the program. Universities in the first group will receive “Omnibus Special Lectures,” where students meet specialists on unification through field studies, raising the awareness on the necessity of unification. The second group will attend a class called the “Unification•North Korea Course Project,” a regular class about unification and North Korea. In this course, practical information that is useful in preparation for unification will be provided.
“Realizing the relatively insufficient education in university, university students have difficulty learning about unification,” said Kim Sung-jo from the Korean Political Science Association. “Therefore, we try to give them more information through the se programs.”
Kim also pointed out that despite university support, many university students tend not to pay attention to lectures that are deemed unrelated to future careers or employment.
“I hope students get more interested in unification and receive information from specialized professors,” Kim said.
The other program to raise recognition of unification among students is “The Mock Cabinet Council Contest Conference,” conducted by the Ministry of Unification. Starting from last year, university students take on the roles of ministers and make policies for five years after unification. Forming nine teams in total, each team containing eight to 15 students, the teams discussed more than two agendas. They sought the relation between the agenda and each ministry, and found realistic problems in the agenda, then drew proper policies for unification. This year, many students paid attention to the conference that 206 students applied, about double the number who can participate.
“I realized that the hope for unification belongs to people with warm hearts,” explained Kim Ji-won, one of the participants in the conference. “Although each had different opinions toward the policy, students tried to acknowledge others’ thoughts. I expect to see more opportunities to think about unification like this conference, and prepare for actual unification.”
Kim Kyung-ae, a contest conference sponsoring office manager, also found that there were many students who have a positive attitude toward unification.
“Among the participants were some students from North Korean defector families, and they had a strong longing for unification,” Kim said. “Through the conference, I became proud of the students who dream of a united Korea.”

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