The Japanese imperialists militarily occupied Korea in the early 20th century. During their colonial rule from 1905 to 1945, they concocted an alleged “Korean education ordinance” and other evil laws to crack down on and obliterate the national education in a systematic way and ran amok to keep the Korean nation in ignorance.
The “ordinance” was fabricated and proclaimed in August 1911 as the main education law enforced by the Japanese imperialists in Korea. It began to be effected from November 1 that year.
According to the evil law, they forcibly closed down the Korean private schools. They demanded that the Koreans build and run schools with the permission of the Japanese governor-general in Korea and that private schools use textbooks complied or approved by the Japanese government-general in Korea. They also allowed a Korean to serve as a teacher only when he or she was good at Japanese or graduated from a school particularly designated by the Japanese government-general.
They prohibited the use of the Korean language at schools and forced the Koreans to use Japanese as their “mother tongue”. In the early 1940s, they made no scruple of completely abolishing the education of Korean language at schools at all levels.
It was part of their moves to cram Japanese language into the heads of Korean students so as to make them ignorant of the correct Korean letters even after graduation from schools, thus obliterating the Korean nation.
They turned the education system into a system based on national discrimination and reduced the term of education at Korean schools markedly than that of Japanese schools. It was aimed at keeping the Koreans mentally backward than the Japanese.
It resulted in checking the development of national education in Korea, and sons and daughters of poor Korean workers and peasants could not get access to learning.
Later, the Japanese imperialists revised the “education ordinance” on four occasions to force the colonial slave education on the Korean students.
Their vicious move for obliterating the Korean nation left more than 2.3 million illiterates in the northern half of Korea after its liberation on August 15, 1945.
However, an all-people anti-illiteracy campaign launched in line with the state policy put an end to illiteracy once and for all in a short period of time in the country.