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Can Koreans see President Park read books to children?

Posted April. 15, 2014 05:26,   

Updated January. 01, 1970 09:00


The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae and the Culture, Sports, and Tourism Ministry said on Monday that President Park seriously considers visiting an elementary school to read books to children. It would be the first time in Korea, whereas many presidents in other countries often read books, being surrounded by children.

The event was arranged because the number of readers is shrinking in Korea. The Korea Publishers Society asked the presidential office early last month, saying, “Too many people do not read books. We hope President Park could read books for children to encourage reading.”

The Culture, Sports, and Tourism Ministry conducted a study last November to find that the percentage of adult book readers decreased by 18 percentage points from 86.8 percent in 1994 to 68.8 percent. This means that every three out of 10 Koreans do not read a single book for a year. This is something that the Park Geun-hye administration cannot gloss over given its aim of prospering culture and a creative economy. “The president’s book reading event to children is waiting for the final decision,” a presidential office source said. “As it is an occasion outside the presidential office, the detailed schedule will be released on the day of the event for security.”

“There was a fad over reading last year when the list of books that President Park planned to read during her vacation, “ a publisher said. “The children’s book that President Park will read will become a best seller.” U.S. President Barack Obama read a kid’s book at an early childhood education laboratory in Texas in October 2011, which made the public feel closer to the president.

Meanwhile, President Park attended a hands-on training at Seongdong Technical High School, a vocational school in Seoul. The president said to students, “Vocation schools should be successful to make Korea more competitive and encourage young people to fulfill their dreams.”