Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, dated September 5, Juche 101 (2012), carried an official notice on convening the Sixth Session of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the capital city of Pyongyang on September 25.
This news made the Korean people think that an important policy issue would be discussed at the upcoming session to be called in five months after the Fifth Session of the 12th SPA in which the respected Comrade Kim Jong Un was held up at the highest post of the DPRK.
But, the session adopted as its first agenda item the law on enforcing the universal 12-year compulsory education with the unanimous approval of the deputies.
The whole country was filled with great excitement.
At that time, The New York Times carried the following article: The Sixth Session of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly adopted the law on enforcing the universal 12-year compulsory education. Leader Kim Jong Un makes painstaking efforts for the future of the country. North Korea puts spurs to improving the quality of education.
The DPRK has always regarded education as the most important of all state affairs.
After the adoption of the law, the education sector buckled down to making preparations for the enforcement of the universal 12-year compulsory education.
It drew up new teaching programs and, on this basis, organized the work to compile and publish textbooks and reference books in second edition for kindergarteners and pupils of primary schools and students of junior and senior middle schools, and to provide millions of instruments for experiments and practical training and teaching aids and furnishings.
Sonamu-brand satchels, Mindulle-brand notebooks and Haebaragi-brand school supplies began to be produced exclusively for children and students, and schools were built or expanded and classrooms newly laid out throughout the country.
The state concentrated investment on the education sector, and enthusiasm for supporting education mounted across the country. This being the situation, the DPRK enforced the universal 12-year compulsory education in a comprehensive way from April Juche 106 (2017), and senior middle schools of technology for the fields of metal, coal, electric power and chemical industries, fishery and agriculture were established as suited to the economic and geographical features of relevant areas.
The overall educational institutions have undergone a facelift with Pyongyang Teachers Training College, which was put on a highly scientific, IT and modern basis, as a model. The High-Tech Research and Development Centre of Kim Il Sung University and the Mirae Sci-Tech Centre of Kim Chaek University of Technology were built and the Educational Books Printing Plant was renovated.
In the course of this, such slogans as “Let us make ours a country of education and a talent power by bringing about a radical improvement in education in the new century!”, “Let us make a leap forward by dint of science and guarantee the future by dint of education!”, “Let us entrust our future to education!” and “Let us make our education into one that can take charge of our future!” were put forward, and such bywords for the times as “making all the people well-versed in science and technology”, “universal 12-year compulsory education”, “a fierce competition in education”, “an intelligent worker” and “education is the mother of science” were created.
Amid the social climate of giving preferential treatment to teachers prevailing across the country, the 13th and 14th national conference of teachers took place with splendour and the apartment houses were built exclusively for the lecturers and researchers of Kim Il Sung University, Kim Chaek University of Technology and several other universities.
This year, the DPRK set it as a very important task facing the government of the Republic to turn the country into an advanced country in education at the Fifth Session of the 14th SPA.