The Indoctrination of Children in the DPRK

Following on from his speech in a Grand Committee debate where he noted that the “indoctrination of children is routine” and asked the UK Government to “consider how [its] teaching programmes may challenge the indoctrination of children, which seeks to imbue North Korean children with hatred”, Lord Eames received a written response to a further question on this issue.

Lord Eames asked “whether the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and British Embassy in Pyongyang use teaching programmes in North Korean universities and colleges and children’s care homes to challenge the indoctrination of children that was documented in the Commission Report; and if so, how.”

Baroness Anelay responded that the “primary focus” of the FCO and British Council funded teacher training programme in the DPRK “is on training teachers of English, although the programme also includes an element of direct teaching to university and middle school students. The programme uses a mixture of standard British Council English language materials and materials developed together with DPRK teachers specifically for the North Korean context. This includes, for example, a module on English for International Law, based on texts from the UN including the UN Charter”.

Furthermore, Baroness Anelay argued that the DPRK Government “would not agree to any programme that explicitly challenged their ideology, but through the programme North Korean teachers and students develop a better understanding of the UK and its values. They also experience an approach to learning based on questioning and reaching individual conclusions, rather than dictation and rote learning. While our Embassy in Pyongyang has funded some projects aimed at improving nutrition in children’s homes and childcare centres, we do not have any teaching programmes for these groups.”