A recent meeting of the people’s committee of Sinuiju, North Pyongan Province, called on parents to better adhere to the party’s childcare and education policies by conducting home-based education in parallel with school-based education.

A source in North Pyongan Province told Daily NK on Wednesday that the people’s committee gathered the city’s dong (local district) chiefs on the morning of Jan. 17. At the meeting, the committee said that taking the lead in the party’s childcare and education policies — as stressed once again during the Fourth Plenary Meeting of the Eighth Central Committee — begins with parents following those policies at home.

According to the source, the people’s committee criticized the failure to properly carry out the party’s childcare and educational policies, and called on families to “educate the growing next generation well” by bringing together school education with home learning.

In particular, the people’s committee took issue with the recent phenomenon of parents failing to properly send their children to school, engaging them in business or errands rather than focusing on their education. It condemned this for causing “great damage” to the state’s childcare and educational policies.

The committee said that even after the meeting, inminban (people’s units) should wage a “struggle” against people sending their children to school only in the morning, using the afternoon and weekends to have them collect wild greens, engage in commerce, or go on errands to buy things.

Elementary school in North Korea schools reopen
An elementary school in North Korea. / Image: DPRK Today

The people’s committee said parents should stop thinking that classroom learning is enough, emphatically calling on them to teach their children Korean and arithmetic at home from the age of three — before they are of school age — to develop their intellectual skills, and to get in line with party ideology to turn the entire populace into a human resource by mastering subjects ahead of time “for their children’s future, too.”

The committee also called on parents to use the standard North Korean dialect of Pyongyang rather than regional dialects at home given how “the family is the cell of society,” and said dong offices and inminban chiefs should cooperate to help “problematic families.”

The source said the meeting recalled that Sinuiju is the proud home of Paeksa Primary School, which produced the “little poet” Kim Il Sin and was cited as a model of education during the days of late North Korean founder Kim Il Sung. He said it called on parents to keep this legacy going by cultivating even more “Kim Il Sins” and raising their children “as children of the proud party and children loyal to Kim Jong Un.”

After the meeting, the dong chiefs returned to their districts and called in their local inminban heads at 4 PM to relay the ideas emphasized during the people’s committee meeting. The inminban heads then called in inminban members at 8 PM to discuss the implementation of the party’s childcare and education policies.

However, the source said most of the locals who took part in the inminban meetings openly complained that they could not leisurely sit with their children and make them study as people starve to death with the border closure and when they must focus simply on putting food on the table.

Please direct any comments or questions about this article to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.
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Jong So Yong is one of Daily NK's freelance reporters. Questions about her articles can be directed to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.