On April 1, 1954, eight month after the ceasefire, President Kim Il Sung made the rounds of schools in Pyongyang on the occasion of the beginning of the new school year. When he saw the war-ravaged schools and the children studying there, his heart hurt.
Time passed, and officials told him that it was past lunch time. Then Kim Il Sung said that as it was a significant day that school started for children, he would look around one more school even if he skipped his lunch, and went to the then Pyongyang Primary School No. 19.
Stepping into a classroom of the school he carefully looked at the furnishings of the classroom, including glossily-cleaned desks different in shape and size and the blackboard. Now he turned his eyes to a noticeboard (it was made by the pupils) hanging on the back wall of the room. Pasted on the board was an emulation graph showing how many bricks each pupil collected. After seeing what were drawn and written on the noticeboard Kim Il Sung told the accompanying officials that the children were admirable, and earnestly said that they should build schools for children as early as possible.
The officials had thought that it was unavoidable that they could not pay attention to the construction of schools as everything was in short supply in the country at that time. While correcting their wrong thinking Kim Il Sung looked around the interior and exterior of the school before coming out of it. Suddenly, he pointed at a building opposite the school and asked the officials what the building was. One of them replied that it was a new office building of the Ministry of Commerce. Then he asked them if it could be used as the building of the school. They did not give a ready answer for they knew that there was no other building for the ministry if it vacated the building at that time.
Mentioning that the ministry could construct another building by itself and that the officials of the ministry could do their work in a small house for the time being, he determinedly said that the building should be vacated for the pupils. So the office building, to which they were busy moving, changed into the school.
Later, he had the construction of schools included in a major construction plan, and took revolutionary measures for ministries, central organs, agencies and enterprises to turn out for the construction of schools in a short span of time.