North Korea Today No. 231 - Oct 2008


"Having an athletic meet is a waste of food"

On last September 24th, a kindergarten of Chungarm district, Chungjin city, North Hamgyoung Province has a fall athletic meet. Because parents were busy with farming, teachers took children to the mountain and enjoy the picnic as well as the simple athletic meet. However, this event was reported to the city education department and the director of the kindergarten and four teachers were dismissed and also dispatched to a collective farm. The teachers asked for favor but the education department punished them strictly saying, "Not teaching children but having athletic meet is a waste of food." In the mean time, the athletic meet is considered as a political agitation, it should be ratified by the senior party.

Inspection on education system in North Hamgyong Province

On October 1st, the party of North Hamgyong Province started inspection on education system of the province. Each school collected money from students to lobby inspectors but it caused a problem. Schools say that faling in feasting inspectors give me hard times so we cannot neglect it. However, parents complain that "why do we have to take the burden? If the party does not send inspectors to make schools better, then do not dispatch them."

Kindergarten Children's Homework, Bringing Fifty Corns with the Cob To school

A Kindergarten in Sariwon of North Hwanghae Province gave students homework of bringing 50 corns with the cob and it provoked criticism of parents. Kim Soon-boon (age 31) said, "Being parents is not a fault. Why do schools ask for things all the time? It asked fifty corns with the cob this time. When we do not have a piece of rice to eat, how can they ask about fifty corns with the cob? Junior high schools also asked for 20 corns with the cob for each student. Mothers say that they are not sending children to the school. Even five corns are too much for kindergarten children. Fifty corns do not make sense at all." Some parents rant to the kindergarten and shouted and cursed to the teachers.

Children of Kangan Kindergarten with Food Poison

On September 25th, children of Kangan kindergarten in Soonchun city, South Pyoungan Province were poisoned with food. On that day, only soup was provided to the children but weaker children started loosing bowels with vomit therefore saw a doctor. Doctors who checked children said the food poison might be from soup which went bad. As soon as it finds out that the children had food poison, the director of the kindergarten called workers in close area and made them carry children to the hospital and all the children were hospitalized. Twenty-third out of thirty children were proved as poisoned by food and two of them died in a day. The teacher who made the soup was dismissed right away.