KOREAN TWO EDUCATION SYSTEMS On the path to forming national identity – 2024-1


Anna J. Tomeyan

Despite sharing a cultural heritage and history, political and ideological differences between the two parts of the same nation on the Korean Peninsula have led to the creation of unique identities.

The article emphasizes the important role of education in creation of a single identity and the reunification of Korea. Because we can consider understanding the characteristics of national identity and the role of education as the key to the reunification of the Korean nation. Education servs as a primary means of transmitting cultural values and shaping national identity. In the Korean context, the education systems reflect the two states’ unique historical experiences, political ideologies, and cultural heritage.

South Korea’s education systems emphasize the development of national identity, equality, and responsibility. The South Korean education system began to develop from 1945 and faced challenges in the early stages but later developed it a modern education system with equal educational opportunities. Despite stress and competition, South Korean education aims to produce democratic, creative and integrated into the global community citizens.

North Korean identity is intertwined to state ideology, particularly the principles of Juche. Like all spheres of life, the education system is also strictly controlled by the state. North Korean education emphasizes self-reliance and loyalty to leaders. Political ideologies, the closed society play a central role in shaping collective identity. At the same time, it preserves cultural identity through strict controlled language and appearance.

The differences in educational goals and principles contribute to the divergence in beliefs and values between the two Koreas. South Korea’s emphasized democracy, innovation, and academic progress are in contrast with North Korea’s controlled education system, which is focused on loyalty to the state. These differences in education systems can have a significant impact on the Korean reunification on process, which will require overcoming political and ideological obstacles and creating a common identity.


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