The Diplomat: British Trainers Quietly Help Shape North Korean Education

Education in any topic and choices made by teachers can transform attitudes over time. For 17 years, the British Council has run an English Language Teacher Training Program in North Korea. “Against all odds, this program has grown,” including teachers outside of Pyongyang, and focusing on “best practices and methodology,” notes Charlotte Fitzek for the Diplomat. The project – one of the few foreign NGOs allowed to operate in North Korea since 2005 – covers seven universities and three schools, gradually building trust with the British trainers also assisting in curriculum development and updating materials. “All interviewees freely admitted that their program did not seek to push topics that might be politically sensitive,” Fitzek writes. “When in doubt, trainers sought out their coordinator, explaining why they wanted to use a certain source.” The NGO is independent and not under the supervision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Education, especially learning languages, has been a priority for the North Korean government in modernizing its workforce. – YaleGlobal

The Diplomat: British Trainers Quietly Help Shape North Korean Education

An NGO teacher-training program in North Korea, run by British Council, has expanded over past 17 years
Charlotte Fitzek
Friday, April 14, 2017

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Charlotte Fitzek is a researcher in the Asian Studies program at Georgetown University and completing a graduate degree there. The research in this article is based on interviews with current and retired senior FCO officials and British Council staff.

© 2017 The Diplomat. All Rights Reserved.

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