North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, recently ordered changes to the “Greatness Education” curriculum at the country’s preschools and the new curriculum was handed down to preschools nationwide on Aug. 25, Daily NK has learned.

“Greatness Education” is aimed at cultivating loyalty and trust toward North Korea’s leadership among the country’s children. According to a source in North Hamgyong Province earlier today, preschoolers aged five and six used to spend only 30 minutes a day learning about the childhoods of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.

The updated curriculum, however, now has them spend a total of one and a half hours on “Greatness Education”: One hour is spent learning about the childhoods of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, while another 30 minutes is devoted to learning “revolutionary” music from the leaders’ childhoods.

“What is being taught in Greatness Education has changed somewhat,” the source said. “The amount of time spent on the Supreme Leader [Kim Jong Un]’s childhood is now twice that spent on the Suryong [Kim Il Sung] and the General [Kim Jong Il]’s childhoods.”

According to the source, the updated curriculum tells preschoolers that when Kim Jong Un was just five years old, he was a bright child who “rode a yacht, did target practice, and liked to read.”

Preschoolers are typically in class for three hours from 9 AM to 12 PM and have time set aside for physical education, play, and studying the Korean alphabet. Preschool teachers, however, are reportedly worried about how they will spend the extra time set aside for Greatness Education.

“The kids are almost at the point of becoming elementary school students, so parents tend to ask teachers to focus on studying the alphabet. The increase in time spent on the leaders, however, leaves less time for alphabet study, so parents will be unhappy,” the source said, based on comments made by some preschool teachers.

Most poor people try not to send their kids to preschools because sending kids there is “too much of a burden,” said the source, adding that parents’ opinions about sending their kids there “won’t be changed” if the new curriculum takes time away from studying the alphabet.

Preschool administrators, for their part, are concerned they will have to ask the parents of preschoolers to pitch in financially to help conduct maintenance on preschool buildings and fix classrooms devoted to learning about “revolutionary activities.”

In accordance with the new curriculum, brochures about the Supreme Leader required for the Greatness Education classes were sent from the central government to the preschools, but there are also new costs for “sprucing up” classrooms for Greatness Education, the source said.

“Many parents are consequently wondering to themselves whether it might be better just to teach their kids at home,” he added.

Please direct any comments or questions about this article to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.

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Kim Yoo Jin is one of Daily NK's freelance journalists. Please direct any questions about his articles to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.