Schoolchildren’s palaces are seen in Pyongyang and the provinces of the country.
Of them, Mangyongdae Schoolchildren’s Palace ranks first in all aspects, including educational conditions, size and modern architecture. It is a comprehensive base for extracurricular education of schoolchildren which can accommodate over 5 000 a day.
Inaugurated on May 2 1989, the palace greeted its 32nd birthday a few days ago.
It stands in an excellent location of Mangyongdae District, Pyongyang, in an area of over 214 000 square metres with a building area of 105 000-odd square metres.
According to section chief Son Mun Yong, designers produced several architectural designs for the palace in the mid-1980s and among them the layout on the theme of “Embrace” representing a mother opening her arms to welcome children was accepted.
The palace has nearly 150 rooms for different hobby groups including science, the arts and sports and a general training hall of the arts.
It is also equipped with a 1 500-seat theatre, a gym which is able to host different sports games at the same time, swimming pool, library which can house tens of thousands of books, e-library, 4-D cinema and online and video games room.
It has a driving practice ground, playground and park in the outside.
There is a group sculpture depicting happy children on a flower-bedecked wagon in front of the palace. On the front wall of its entrance hall is inscribed with the instruction of President Kim Il Sung that the children are treasures of the country and the future of Korea belongs to them.
President Kim Il Sung, Chairman Kim Jong Il and the respected Comrade Kim Jong Un visited the palace on several occasions and wished the schoolchildren a bright future as they saw students in hobby group activities and their artistic performances, planted trees and watched the calligraphic skill of young students.
On show in its skill exhibition room and along the corridors are lots of paintings and calligraphic works presented by its group members to help visitors easily understand that the palace has so far produced many talents.
Its schoolchildren’s art troupe toured over a dozen foreign countries and gave performances hundreds of times in the past, receiving hearty welcome and winning great admiration from the audience.
Many foreign personages and delegations visited the palace, including former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, former Soviet defence minister Dmitri Yazov, former US President Jimmy Carter and American religious leader Franklin Graham.
The palace was completely renovated in November 2015.
Education in the palace is free as is schooling.
Many of its instructors are winners of such honorary titles as People’s Teacher, People’s Artist and People’s Athlete.