North Korea promotes robotics in education

North Korea is promoting robotics education at the elementary school level, following directives from leader Kim Jong Un issued at the fourth plenum of the seventh party central committee meeting earlier this year.

North Korea’s elementary school students are to receive a more comprehensive education in the field of robotics, according to state media on Monday.

Arirang Maeari, a Pyongyang state news and propaganda service, said Monday Pyongyang University of Education has devised a robotics curriculum at North Korean elementary schools.

Learning about robots at the earliest stages of schooling is to become more widespread in the country. The university plans to use “educational robots” in elementary school classrooms, where classes about the “most basic subjects” are taught, according to North Korea state media.

Robot classes are already taking place at Kwangbok elementary school in the Mangyongdae district of the capital Pyongyang, Arirang Maeari said. Mangyongdae is the alleged birthplace of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung.

Young North Koreans learn about the functioning of robots through lessons where they learn to design, assemble and manipulate robots. State media said the classes would “greatly influence” the development of the right side of students’ brains.

North Korean students are to also learn “creativity, observation and computational ability” through robotics education.

In other classes, robots will lead lessons, including in foreign language education, state media said.

Technology is receiving increasing emphasis across education in North Korea.

Rodong Sinmun reported Sunday the regime’s Pyongsong College of Medicine has opened a surgical and imaging education facility.

The facility allows for online learning across long distances, and between operating rooms and hospitals, according to the report.

The connections allow direct conversations to take place online through the country’s intranet. Recordings of surgeries can also be transmitted via the network, enabling North Korean medical students to replay the footage and learn from the video images, the Rodong said.

ByElizabeth Shim