Education in North Korea is free, universal and traditionally has been compulsory for 11 years, from ages four to 15, in state-run schools. According to Kyodo in 2018, there is now 12 years of compulsory education — one year in kindergarten, five years in primary school, three years in lower secondary school and another three years in higher secondary school. Before it was four years of primary school.

All children of school age — from 5 to 17 — are expected to complete compulsory education that aims “to efficiently realize the ideals of socialistic human beings”. The system reduces the normal 12 years of primary and secondary schooling — four or five years for primary school and six years of secondary education — with a year of kindergarten tacked on to the beginning. Chong Jae Lee wrote in the “World Education Encyclopedia: “This system is also organized to ensure the continuity and integration of basic education with political education from preschool to the second cycle of secondary education. Basic education is focused on language, math, science, and physical education subjects. [Source: Chong Jae Lee, “World Education Encyclopedia”, The Gale Group Inc.,2001]

“The North Korean educational system has maintained its own unique structures as well as the typical socialist structures of an educational system. The educational system of North Korea consists of three types of schools. The main track is the general school system, and the other two types are schools for continuing education and schools for special purposes. The school system has maintained its basic structure since the system's major reforms in 1975 following the Party's major policy changes in 1975.

“One facet of the formal education system is the general school system. The general school system is the same as school systems in other countries. It is called the general school system to differentiate it from the schools with special purposes and institutes for continuing higher education. The general school system (GSS) has kindergarten through tenth grade (K-10) elementary-secondary schools and higher education. Kindergarten has two levels for two years. The lower class begins at age four and the upper class begins at age five when free compulsory education begins. The elementary school, called people's school, begins at age six and takes four of five years to complete. The secondary school in North Korea is higher middle school, and it provides six years of schooling. Higher middle school has two levels. The lower-level middle school takes 4 years from age 10 to 13, and the higher-level high school takes 2 years from age 14 to 15.

“Another type of school system is the special purpose school. This is for talented children and children from the elite class. It consists of the revolutionary school (also called elite school, beginning at age 5 and lasting for 10 years), schools for arts and sports (ages 6 to 18), schools for foreign language (ages 10 to 18), and schools for science (ages 10 to 21).

“Higher education has two systems for academic purposes and continuing education. Academic higher education of GSS is composed of universities (four to six years),College of Education for secondary school teachers (four years), Teachers' College for primary school teachers (three years), and junior colleges (three years). After university studies, graduate school for master and doctoral study is continued at post-Doctoral schools. Another educational system is the continuing education system. The university or continuing higher education is attached tofactories, farms, and fishery cooperatives. The Air and Correspondence University operates a five-year curriculum. See Separate Article on Higher Education

Schools in North Korea

Eleven or twelve years of education are provided at government expense is required for North Korean children The compulsory primary and secondary education system is divided into one year of kindergarten, four or five years of primary school (people's school) for ages six to nine, and six years of higher middle school (secondary school) for ages ten to fifteen. There are two years of kindergarten, for children aged four to six; only the second year (upper level kindergarten) is compulsory. In the mid-1980s, there were 9,530 primary and secondary schools. [Source: Andrea Matles Savada, Library of Congress, 1993 *]

The school years lasts from March to February. Attendance rates in secondary school and high are equal to that of primary school. According to the CIA World Factbook, 2020] School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 11 years; male: 11 years; female: 11 years (2015). This contrast with many developing countries where attendance rates fall off significantly after primary school. School attendance in North Korea, though, declined during the famine in the 1990s. Textbooks were expected to last for five years or more. Paper shortages have led to shortages of textbooks.

Rick Newman wrote in U.S. News and World Report: “Parents who send their kids to schools are expected to provide desks, chairs, building materials and cash to pay for heating fuel. Some students are put to work producing goods for the government or gathering up discarded materials.Parents can bribe teachers to exempt their kids from labor or just keep them away from school, even though that violates official policy. [Source: Rick Newman, U.S. News and World Report, April 12, 2013]

School Life in North Korea

Fyodor Tertitskiy wrote in NK News: The North Korean school system consists of two stages. Primary school is called “people’s school” and secondary is “middle-high”. The best North Korean schools are known as Number One schools. A small town usually has one of these, while Pyongyang has several. Number One schools are among the least corrupt institutions in the DPRK. It may be possible to bribe a principal to gain entry but after that one has to perform well and study hard to get good results. [Source: Fyodor Tertitskiy for NK News, part of the North Korea network, The Guardia, December 21, 2015]

“At 10 all children join the Children’s Union – there are no exceptions. The admission is usually done in three stages. First, the best pupils in the class are admitted, then the average ones and then the rest. The Children’s Union members have a distinctive trait of wearing red neckties, a custom that comes from the USSR.

The child reads an oath of allegiance during an admission ceremony, the text of which has varied from time to time. It reds something like this, although it will have changed a bit as North Korea no longer uses the word communism: “I join the ranks of the Korean Children’s Union, founded by the Great Leader Generalissimo Kim Il-sung and shined upon by the Great Guide Commander Kim Jong-il, do hereby swear to always and everywhere think and act according to the teaching of the Generalissimo Kim Il-sung and Commander Kim Jong-il and to become a good reservist of the brilliant cause of constriction of Communism, which is carried along from generation to generation by the great revolutionary deed of Juche.”

“So the Children’s Union is the first of many organisations a North Korean will join in their lifetime. Other possible ones are the Youth League, the Korean Workers Party, the Women’s Union, a labor union and the Farmers’ Union. These groupings run regular “organisational life” seminars for members, instructing them in the official ideology. i.e. regular ideological sessions, among its members.

Educational and Teaching Methods in North Korea

Closely tied to the central theme of juche in education is the "method of heuristic teaching" — a means of developing the independence and creativity of students and a reaction against the traditional Confucian emphasis on rote memorization. "Heuristics give students an understanding of the content of what they are taught through their own positive thinking, and so greatly help to build up independence and creativeness." Coercion and "cramming" should be avoided in favor of "persuasion and explanation," particularly in ideological education. [Source: Andrea Matles Savada, Library of Congress, 1993 *]

There is an emphasis on uniformity in Korean schools. The curriculum is the same for all students and even music teachers are told precisely which songs they have to teach in each grade. According to “Cities of the World”: The curriculum of North Korea's educational system includes a heavy emphasis on Communist ideology and combines Korean studies with Marxist-Leninist principles. Principal subjects include scientific subjects, such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology; and social science subjects. [Source: Cities of the World , The Gale Group Inc., 2002]

“The North Korean government stresses the elimination of Confucian methods of learning by rote and emphasizes instead full use of practical experiments in the laboratory, in the field, and in work experience. Excursion trips to military installations and old battlefields, industries, and other points of interest are among the techniques used. Speech and composition contests, debate meetings on scientific subjects, exhibitions of the arts, contests on new inventions and new designs, story-telling and poem recital meetings, music auditions, art contests, athletic meets, and motion picture appreciation gatherings are among the devices used by the schools to keep students interested and occupied in practical ways. Students are also assigned to such group projects as rabbit raising, fire prevention, and assisting the public health services. [Source: Cities of the World , The Gale Group Inc., 2002]

Curriculum in North Korean Schools

School curricula in the early 1990s are balanced between academic and political subject matter. According to South Korean scholar Park Youngsoon, subjects such as Korean language, mathematics, physical education, drawing, and music constitute the bulk of instruction in people's schools; more than 8 percent of instruction is devoted to the "Great Kim Il Sung" and "Communist Mora1ity." In higher middle schools, politically oriented subjects, including the "Great Kim Il Sung" and "Communist Morality" as well as "Communist Party Policy," comprise only 5.8 percent of instruction. However, such statistics understate the political nature of primary and secondary education. Textbooks in the Korean language, for example, include titles such as We Pray for "Our Master," Following Mrs. Kim, Our Father, Love of Our Father, and Kim Jong Il Looking at Photos. Kindergarten children receive instruction in "Marshal Kim's Childhood" and "Communist Morality." Park noted that when students read Kim Il Sung's writings in the classroom, they are expected to do so "loudly, and slowly and with a feeling of respect." They also are taught a special way of speaking toward Kim, in terms of pronunciation, speed, and a special deference system and attitude."[Source: Andrea Matles Savada, Library of Congress, 1993 *]

Fyodor Tertitskiy wrote in NK News: The curriculum consists of classes such as Korean language, mathematics, literature and “socialist ethics” – which may be a remnant of the Japanese colonial age. Imperial Japan was fond of teaching ethics in school. There’s also a lot of ideology: subjects include The childhood years of the Beloved and Respected Leader Generalissimo Kim Il-sung, The childhood years of the Great Guide Generalissimo Kim Jong-il, Revolutionary activities of the Beloved and Respected Leader Generalissimo Kim Il-sung, Revolutionary activities of the Great Guide Generalissimo Kim Jong-il, Revolutionary activities of the heroine of the anti-Japanese struggle mother Kim Jong-suk and, more recently, Revolutionary activities the Beloved and Respected Leader Marshal Kim Jong-un. [Source: Fyodor Tertitskiy for NK News, part of the North Korea network, The Guardia, December 21, 2015]

“Foreign languages are taught from secondary school. The most common one is English and then Russian. British English is taught as a standard, but the quality of education is poor as the DPRK uses its own textbooks rather than ones published in the UK or Russia. Native British or Russian textbooks would contain too much “dangerous” information so they are not permitted. North Korean textbooks are badly written and littered with mistakes. It also doesn’t help that children are supposed to learn phrases such as “Long live Great Leader Generalissimo Kim Il-sung” before “Hello, how are you”.

A math question from a North Korean elementary school textbook reads:“During the Fatherland Liberation War [the Korean War] the brave uncles of the Korean People’s Army in one battle killed 374 American imperial bastards, who are brutal robbers. The number of prisoners taken was 133 more than the number of American imperial bastards killed. How many bastards were taken prisoner?” [Source: Max Fisher, Washington Post May 31, 2013; “The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia” by Andrei Lakov (Oxford University Press, 2013)]

School Propaganda in North Korea

The cornerstone of the North Korean education system is the rhetoric of Kim Il Sung and propaganda of North Korea government. Textbooks deify Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il but fail to mention King Sejon, the great Korean ruler who invented the Korean writing system. The government has distributed 15,000 types of articles to kindergartens that contain stories and parables regarded the lives and philosophies of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.

Portraits of Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un are hung in every classroom and students took turns carefully cleaning them. During inspections by party officials, teachers have to write self-criticism reports if the pictures are deemed to be too dusty. A North Korean teacher told the Asahi Shimbun, “We treated Great Leader Kim Il Sung and Dear Leader Kim Jong Il like Christ.”

Anti-American propaganda is another feature of North Korean education. A third-grade math textbook asks: “If a person in South Korea distributes 20 packets of fliers that read “U.S. imperialists should leave” in one day and 24 packets a second day how many fliers did the South Korean distribute if there were 25 fliers in each packet.”

One official told National Geographic: "As our beloved president Kim Il Sung teaches, if we don't educate our people to hate our enemies, we will not be able to teach them, since they have technological superiority. that is why we educate our younger generation against American imperialists — so they will not forget their enemy.”

North Korean State Vocabulary

According to “Countries and Their Cultures”: “In North Korea's linguistic practice, Kim Il Sung's words are frequently quoted as a gospel-like reference point. People learn the vocabulary by reading publications of the state and the party. Since the print industry and the entire publishing establishment are strictly state-owned and state-controlled, and no private importation of foreign-printed materials or audiovisual resources is permitted, words that do not conform with the interest of the party and the state are not introduced into the society in the first place, resulting in efficient censorship. [Source: “Countries and Their Cultures”, The Gale Group Inc., 2001]

“The vocabulary that the state favors includes words relating to such concepts as revolution, socialism, communism, class struggle, patriotism, anti-imperialism, anticapitalism, the national reunification, and dedication and loyalty to the leader. By way of contrast, the vocabulary that the state finds difficult or inappropriate, such as that referring to sexual or love relations, does not appear in print. Even so-called romantic novels depict lovers who are more like comrades on a journey to fulfill the duties they owe to the leader and the state.

“Limiting the vocabulary in this way has made everyone, including the relatively uneducated, into competent practitioners of the state-engineered linguistic norm. On the societal level, this had an effect of homogenizing the linguistic practice of the general public. A visitor to North Korea would be struck by how similar people sound. In other words, rather than broadening the vision of citizens, literacy and education in North Korea confine the citizenry into a cocoon of the North Korean-style socialism and the state ideology.”

Brainwashing Young Children in North Korea

Anna Fifield wrote in the Washington Post: The North Korean regime brainwashes children from an early age to believe in “Kim Il Sung. Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong-un “as godlike leaders. This indoctrination program has two basic goals,” a groundbreaking 372-page report by a United Nations published in 2014 “said: to instill utmost loyalty and commitment toward the supreme leader, and to instill hostility and deep hatred toward the United States, Japan and South Korea. [Source: Anna Fifield, Washington Post, January 15, 2015]

“The brainwashing starts in kindergarten. “The milk would arrive and we would go up one by one to fill our cups,” recalled Lee, who came to South Korea only in March and asked to use a pseudonym to protect her family in North Korea. “The teachers would say: “Do you know where the milk came from? It came from the dear leader. Because of his love and consideration, we are drinking milk today,’ ” said Lee, looking every bit a South Korean with her dyed hair and trendy sweater. “I didn’t really ask questions,” she shrugged. “Somehow I just knew not to.”

“Children’s books are not immune. Take “The Butterfly and the Cockerel,” a story about an irascible, bullying rooster (the United States) that is outwitted by a small, virtuous butterfly (North Korea). Teachers don’t just teach history, they teach “revolutionary history.” And all music, storybooks, novels and artwork relates to the Kims. “When I taught math problems, they would go like this,” said Chae Kyung-hee, who used to be a middle school teacher in North Korea and now runs a school for defectors in Seoul. “If you have this many of Kim Il Sung’s anti-Japanese fighters and this many Japanese soldiers, and x-many Japanese soldiers are killed. .?.?.”

There are 365 days’ worth of education materials, so every day teachers could say to their students, “On this day, Kim Il Sung went there, did that.” At age 7, all children must join the Children’s Union and a year later, they start Saturday “self criticism” sessions in which they must confess how they fell short of the “Ten Principles” that are the foundation of North Korea's ideology. These principles include requirements such as studying the “revolutionary ideas of Great Leader Comrade Kim Il Sung” as part of daily life.

Students in North Korea

Schoolchildren wear Mao-style tunics with red pioneer scarves, achievement medals and badges with a picture of Kim Il Sung. Large pictures of Kim Il Sung give "on the spot guidance." In some schools “little soldiers,” members of the Pupil’s red Army, march with fake machine guns. Many students aspire to joining the "Happy Group," an elite team of men and women trained to the work in the homes and resorts of Kim Jong Il and other top North Korean leaders. [Source: New York Times]

Although education in North Korea is nominally free, students buy their own lunches and books. In school most children learn how play a musical instrument as well as use a lathe or sewing machine. The accordion is a very popular instrument in schools. In the 1970s, and maybe still today, every middle school had a 30-piece orchestra made up of 10- and 12-year-olds. Children learned to play songs such as "We Are the Happiest Children in the World" and "We Wish Kim Il Sung a Long Life and Good health." [Source: H. Edward Kim, National Geographic, August, 1974]

Elementary school subjects include Korean language, math, music, and Communist ethics and the childhood histories of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. In secondary school, and revolutionary activities of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il are regarded as the most important subjects. In the 1970s, students who did not get good grades in these subjects were considered poor students even if they got good grades in all their other subjects.

North Korea's schools are free, but children often have to buy their own books and uniforms and bring firewood for heat. Barbara Demick wrote in the Los Angeles Times: “ When the food runs out, many children stop coming to class. The nation once boasted near-universal literacy, but now it is common to see kids working in fields or markets during the day. Children get leave from school in the autumn to collect acorns for food. [Source: Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times, July 3, 2005]

“The Saenggiryong Mine Kindergarten was housed in a dank, concrete building...Kindergartners sat at worn wooden desks, often wearing heavy overcoats and hats to stay warm. The students...received an education heavy with propaganda; course materials depicted the U.S. soldiers who fought in the Korean War as wolves who had massacred the general population. More important than math or even the Korean language was the study of juche, the national ideology of self-reliance put forth by Kim Il Sung.

"Eight boys and nine girls are singing anthems in praise of Kim Il Sung. How many children are singing in total?" is one question from Primary School Grade 1 Mathematics, published in 2001 — or Juche 91 under the North Korean calendar, which begins with the year of Kim Il Sung's birth.

Philip Gourevitch wrote in the Observer: “Kim Chol had no complaints as a child. 'I was satisfied with everything until I graduated from secondary school,' he said. 'Everything was OK — not great, but security was provided for.' Then his parents came back from their fateful trip to China and took him aside, and everything wasn't OK any more. The supreme fiction of all North Korean propaganda, to which all other mystifications must conform, is Pyongyang's claim that the war was started by the United States and not by Kim Il Sung. It wasn't only a question of the war, and the self-serving leadership, Kim Chol said. 'I also learnt that in China people were living well and that South Korea was very rich, while North Korea was very poor.' His parents didn't tell his sisters these things. To speak such truths to too many people, no matter how close, was 'suicide'. [Source: Philip Gourevitch, Observer Magazine, The Guardian, November 2, 2003]

School Life in a Hungry North Korean Town

Barbara Demick wrote in the Los Angeles Times: “ The World Food Program is supposed to supply 632 nursery and primary schools around Chongjin with biscuits and other food, but that aid is often suspended because of insufficient contributions... Seo Kyong Hui watched as the students vanished. She was a feisty and idealistic 21-year-old graduate of Chongjin's Kim Jong Suk Education College — named for Kim Jong Il's mother — when she was assigned in 1994 to teach in a mining village on the southern outskirts of the city. Her school had 50 pupils then, but by the time she left the country in 1998, enrollment had fallen to 15. [Source: Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times, July 3, 2005]

Until 1995, a full-time cook prepared lunches of soup and rice. But as the crisis worsened, the school closed its cafeteria and asked children to bring their own meals. Many came empty-handed. "We would take a spoonful from each kid who had lunch and give it to the one without," Seo said. "But the parents didn't like that, because they didn't have enough for themselves."

“Seo could tell when a pupil was in trouble. His hair would turn dry and yellowish, and his eyes would sink into their sockets. At recess, while the better-fed children ran and squealed, the hungry child would lie on a mat. Sometimes the child would flop over in his chair during a lesson, cheek pressed against the desktop. "One girl I remember used to be pretty as a doll, with black eyes and long lashes," Seo said. "But her ribs showed, and her belly was swollen like one of those Somalian kids. She would doze in class. I remember I once picked up her head off the desk and looked at her face. It was yellow, as though she were jaundiced, and her eyes were half-closed."

“The girl stopped coming to class. Seo assumes she eventually died of starvation. Others dropped out, in what became a pattern. "The first time I saw a dead body, I shuddered with fear. But with time, you get used to it. You become ... insensitive," Seo said. "It was really strange. If only one or two students had died, I would have been shocked. It would have been a big tragedy and I'd have gone to the home to pay condolences. But when there are so many, you get numb."

On the experience of another teacher in a famine-hot town, Art Winslow wrote in the Los Angeles Times: The unlucky — the ghastly — part of Mi-ran's experience was that when she encountered the 5- and 6-year-olds who were to be her classroom charges, she noted that they "looked no bigger to her than three- and four-year-olds" and might have been present only to eat the school's free lunch, a soup constituted from leaves and salt. Over time, attendance thinned ominously, from 50 children to 15.” In Barbara Demick’s "Nothing to Envy," Mi-ran "described watching her five- and six-year-old pupils die of starvation. As her students were dying, she was supposed to teach them that they were blessed to be North Korean." The Beijing bureau chief of the Los Angeles Times, Demick takes her title from a song of national pride that teachers commonly had their classes sing, which claimed, "We have nothing to envy in the world." [Source: Art Winslow, Los Angeles Times, January 10, 2010]

Teachers in North Korea

In 1988, UNESCO reported that North Korea had 35,000 preprimary teachers, 59,000 primary teachers and 111,000 secondary teachers. According to the “World Education Encyclopedia” another source there were 47,000 primary teachers student-teacher ratio in primary schools was 40:1 and 98,000 secondary teachers and a student-teacher ratio in secondary schools of 30:1, with secondary enrollment at 2,915,000. [Source: Library of Congress, July 2007**]

According to Kyodo, there is a tradition in North Korea that teachers, family and society cooperate to foster children. At the college, therefore, students are required to learn how to educate mothers and to communicate closely with family to shape children's characters. According to U.S. News and World Report: Parents can bribe teachers to exempt their kids from labor or just keep them away from school, even though that violates official policy. [Source: Rick Newman, U.S. News and World Report, April 12, 2013; Tomoyuki Tachikawa, Kyodo, April 17, 2018]

Teachers in North Korean are so poorly paid that they cannot survive without the extra income and students are expected to provide monetary gifts to them. On a 16-year-old girl who wanted to be a teacher, Barbara Demick wrote in the Los Angeles Times: “Her favorite subject was math. After graduation, she intended to go to a teachers’ college in the nearby city of Hoeryong. “I’m not the best in my class, but I have passion,’’ she told me. Song-hee’s parents had been saving money for her, since neither of her two brothers showed academic promise. “If anybody goes to college in our family, it should be you,’’ Song-hee’s father had told her. [Source: Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times, July 12, 2010]

On a teacher in a poor border town who fled North Korea in 1998, Barbara Demick wrote in the Los Angeles Times: “. Seo had little equipment, save for an accordion, which all kindergarten teachers were required to play so they could lead their pupils in songs praising the Kim family. "There is so much emphasis on ideology that other areas of education invariably suffer," said "At the time I didn't know. I just thought, 'This is how education is done.' " [Source: Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times, July 3, 2005]

On a woman that overcame her suspect family background to become a teacher, Art Winslow wrote in the Los Angeles Times: “In her early 20s, Mi-ran became a schoolteacher in a North Korean village not far from where her parents lived. She was lucky: Her father, a southerner taken prisoner by the north during the Korean War and not allowed to repatriate, was politically suspect, which meant that Mi-ran's family occupied a low rung in the politically defined caste system imposed by Kim Il-sung (postwar head of state and father of Kim Jong-il, North Korea's current leader). That could well have barred Mi-ran's entry to teacher's college, for the family was considered beulsun, to have "tainted blood," a stigma that carries across generations and did thwart her siblings' entry to schools. [Source: Art Winslow, Los Angeles Times, January 10, 2010]

College of Education for secondary school teachers is four years. Teachers' College for primary school teachers is three years. Tomoyuki Tachikawa of Kyodo wrote: The Pyongyang Teacher Training College, founded in 1968, has around 1,600 students. The number of applicants has increased every year, the college said, adding that the acceptance rate has been about 20 percent in recent years. Nearly 70 percent of kindergarten and primary school teachers are female in North Korea. In February 2017, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gave instructions to turn the college into a model put on a scientific, information technology and modern basis at a high level and generalize it across the country, according to state-run media. The project for upgrading the college, which has a total floor space of over 24,000 square meters, was concluded in October last year. In January, the leader visited the college and expressed satisfaction at the state of its "ultra-modern education facilities," the Korean Central News Agency reported. [Source: Tomoyuki Tachikawa, Kyodo, April 17, 2018]

High-Tech Teacher Training in North Korea

In 2018, North Korea to introduced state-of-the-art technology as part it teacher training. Tomoyuki Tachikawa of Kyodo wrote: “At the newly remodeled Pyongyang Teacher Training College, the mostly female students study how to educate kindergartners and primary school children with the aid of virtual reality and 3D display technologies. In one classroom is installed a large widescreen monitor on which are displayed animated avatars representing primary school pupils. Speaking to the virtual children through a microphone, they respond in a timely manner. [Source: Tomoyuki Tachikawa, Kyodo, April 17, 2018]

“When a college student asked one animated pupil on the screen how he is, the boy quickly answered, "I'm very fine," just like a teacher and a child communicating in a real classroom. The training program is apparently powered by artificial intelligence. But sometimes, other college students play the role of primary school pupils in a different classroom so that they can observe teachers' personality and behavior through the eyes of children, the college said. By creating a situation more closely simulating reality, college students can learn how to interact with children more effectively, it said.

“The college students also utilize projection mapping, in which images are mapped onto 3D objects, and augmented reality, a technology that overlays digital images onto the real world. They can experience the natural environment and get a close look at the lives of wild animals and birds using 3D virtual reality goggles, as well as feel how things change their forms by scooping sand projected on the screen with their hands. A sphere with projection mapping technology instantly becomes Venus, Earth, Mars and Jupiter, and other planets. College students can visually recognize what the differences between stars are.

“The college said it has developed a curriculum that can enable teachers in the making to acquire teaching skills both physically and theoretically, while putting emphasis on North Korea's traditional ways to raise children. "Have you ever seen such a place in other countries?" said Pak Gum Hui, the 44-year-old president of the college. "Our program is globally advanced." Tapping into advanced technologies, "We are also trying to promote the combination of school education and family education," Pak said.

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons.

Text Sources: UNESCO, Wikipedia, Library of Congress, CIA World Factbook, World Bank, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, “Culture and Customs of Korea” by Donald N. Clark, Chunghee Sarah Soh in “Countries and Their Cultures”, “Columbia Encyclopedia”, Korea Times, Korea Herald, The Hankyoreh, JoongAng Daily, Radio Free Asia, Bloomberg, Reuters, Associated Press, Daily NK, NK News, BBC, AFP, The Atlantic, Yomiuri Shimbun, The Guardian and various books and other publications.

Updated in July 2021

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