▲ Jeju students marched to City Hall in protest against the government's history book plans. Photo by Matt Collison.
Demonstrators took to the streets of Jeju City in protest over government plans to replace school history textbooks with a single state-approved one.
Dozens of protesters from Jeju National University of Education - many holding aloft banners with the words 'Tell me a truthful history' and 'Protect our children, hands off our history textbooks' - took part in the march on Saturday April 9.
The students were protesting against the government's decision to replace privately published history textbooks used in schools with its own state-endorsed publication.
"We all feel very angry about this -furious. The government will distort history. They want to remove history," said one student taking part in the march.
The centre-right government has said it's concerned that some history books used in schools contained mistakes and show bias towards the left.
But those opposed to the move are outraged, saying a single state approved textbook, to be published in 2017, will distort history teaching.
Opposition to the scheme has mounted in recent months with opposers arguing it will whitewash the legacy of President Park Geun-hye's father Park Chung-hee. The dictator was accused of collaborating with Japanese Imperial forces and seized power in a military coup in 1961.
Last November a protest in Seoul over the history textbooks issue ended with police using water cannons to disperse demonstrators.
Last weekend's peaceful protest saw the students march for 30 minutes from Jeju National University of Education to City Hall in Jeju City.
Police kept watch as the students reached their destination at 2.30pm, with many taking to the steps outside Jeju Venture Maru building where they shouted in protest against the government plans.
Choi Jin Kee, a third grade JNUoE student, said: "This government will make only one history textbook in school so every school will just learn from only one textbook. We are of the view that this is not fair."
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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