In his reminiscences With the Century President Kim Il Sung wrote: “If anyone asks me when I am most happy and joyful, I will respond:‘It gives me particular pleasure or happiness to be among the people, discover amongst them excellent people who can set an example for the whole country and debate state affairs, their living and our future. It also gives me great happiness to be among the children, we call the flower buds of the country.’ I can say that this is my lifelong view of happiness.”
One day early in December 1969, at the 20th Enlarged Plenary Meeting of the Fourth Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) held in the presence of the President the headmaster of the then Pyongyang Raengchon Middle School talked about how his school had given education to students so that they would become able pillars who would make contributions to the socialist construction and defence up-building, on the socialist education principle. It was an incoherent talk, but the President attentively listened, sometimes asking questions, writing down in his notebook what he replied, and kindheartedly leading him to tell all about whatever he had on his mind.
Very glad to hear that his school had its students regularly go running and climbing Munsu Hill, taking it into account that their country is mountainous, the President highly appreciated his words before saying joyfully that since their country is mountainous, the students should be trained for mountaineering, that is, conquering mountains. Adding that he had given an instruction to build a camp for students of Pyongyang in Mt. Myohyang, the President said that the speaker’s school’s students would also go to the mountain to get training for mountain-climbing while enjoying camping for 10 or 15 days. And he stressed that the camp for the students of the city should be built as soon as possible as decided by the Political Committee of the WPK Central Committee so as to enable the students to go camping there.
Then the President gave the officials concerned the task of pushing ahead with the project in a responsible manner. When the headmaster suggested building a swimming pool, the President generously accepted his idea and told officials to take measures to build three or four swimming pools for students of Pyongyang on the Taedong riverside as the headmaster proposed.
The President went on to say that when schools were to be built in the city the projects must include the construction of swimming pools for the schools, and that since the country is surrounded by the sea on three sides and is rich in rivers and streams, children should be taught to swim from their primary school days so as to be able to conquer the sea in future.
At the meeting the President intensified the discussion on education with the emphasis on ideas he had harboured, confirming the validity of the ideas once again.
Next day, he concluded the meeting with his speech entitled Some Questions on Communist Education of Youths and Children.