June 1, 2010｜Korean Peninsula
Kim Song Guk
Researcher, Korean Association of Social Scientists
“Every year DPRK students are achieving incredible results. From seeing this it is clear that it has been proved that the DPRK education system is splendid and the level of education is high.”
These were the words of the Russian team leader on the results the DPRK’s gifted youngsters achieved at the 50th International Mathematical Olympiad held in Bremen, Germany, in July 2009. Not only Russia, but also the leaders and deputy leaders of the teams from many countries, including Moldova, Kazakhstan, Iran, Turkey and Thailand, couldn’t contain their amazement and congratulated them heartily.
The International Mathematical Olympiad is a high-level competition boasting a long history, where gifted youngsters from a large number of countries around the world gather and pit their abilities against one another. The three 17-year-old DPRK students, Ri Un Song, Kim Jong Chol, and Ri Yong Hyon, who took part in the 50th Olympiad, were able to solve skillfully high-level problems for which a high degree of concentration and thinking power are demanded, and won first places. In addition two students took second places, and one third place, and all the DPRK students who took part in the competition achieved the result of winning a medal.
At the 48th and 49th International Mathematical Olympiads also, held in 2007 and 2008, the gifted youngsters of the DPRK exercised their abilities to the full, which they had learnt and built up without restraint under the socialist education system, and accomplished consecutive victories.
In this day and age human talent determines everything. Consequently, the whole world is placing emphasis on the nurturing of human talent, and all countries are fiercely engaging in the scramble for human talent. In the DPRK we are emphasizing and putting effort into the education of gifted youngsters as an important project related to the future of the country. The mission for the education of gifted youngsters in the DPRK lies in actively extending the superior natural gifts and ability which children and students have in certain areas, including science, the arts and literature, and physical education, and fostering them as talented human resources to serve greatly in science and technology and the cultural development of the future country.
The education of gifted youngsters in the DPRK, taking the premise of the development of the group and then based on that people’s individual characteristics, has the distinctive feature of the active promoting and developing of their superior natural gifts and ability. The DPRK, on correctly discovering in a timely fashion superior aptitudes and abilities among children and students, appropriately selects the subject for the education of gifted youngsters; then, realizing the basic principles of socialist pedagogy, implements in depth fundamental education, in particular thorough politico-ideological education.
Along with this, applying appropriately a variety of forms and methods, including early education, attribute training, and general education, combining group education with individual education, the DPRK strives to foster as early as possible and skillfully the aptitudes and abilities of students. In particular, the DPRK strives to not have the problem occurring of hastily undertaking narrow-ranging specialist education, ignoring fundamental education and without any consideration of the validity pedagogically.
In the DPRK, by way of the correct leadership of the Workers’ Party of Korea and the government, the conditions for the education of gifted youngsters have been properly prepared. Beginning with Pyongyang Middle School No. 1 and Kumsong School, the DPRK admirably possesses an educational base for the education of gifted youngsters at the center and in each province. In addition, beginning with the Pyongyang Students and Children’s Palace and the Mangyongdae Schoolchildren’s Palace, it possesses a large number of extracurricular education activity bases, and is able to energetically undertake the project for the education of gifted youngsters on the scale of the entire nation.
As a result of energetically widening the project for the education of gifted youngsters based on such excellent educational methods and educational conditions today’s DPRK is actively serving the construction of a socialist strong and powerful country where a great number of gifted youngsters are being nurtured, and is making the dignity and glory of the Korean people shine.
By means of the advanced education system where the true requirements of a socialist society have been admirably realized and the correct education policy of the Workers’ Party of Korea and the government, the DPRK’s project for the education of gifted youngsters will be further improved and strengthened, and through that the future of the DPRK will certainly be ensured.
[Translated by ERINA]