North Korea school rules are weird – and we will tell you why.
Growing up, we’ve all had a bittersweet connection with our school and have indulged in unnecessary mischief to deliberately get into trouble just to get back at our teachers. Most of us had a more strict environment where we could have been expelled for breaking the discipline of the school, but we all have a few things in common.
Those are a pleasant memory of sharing our thoughts with our friends, choosing our career paths, and a chance to get out in the world to be ourselves and enjoy life on our terms. But not all the students in the world get this liberty of exploring the world or explore oneself as an individual or even have access to the things that account as childhood.
The Top Weird North Korea School Rules
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or better known as North Korea, is widely known for it’s Supreme Leaders, secrecy, and some bizarre rules that are a must for every single citizen to follow unless you want to be imprisoned for life or worse executed.
These rules are set to have control over the people and isolate them from the world, and these rules come into existence as early as pre-school. The children are brainwashed and manipulated from the beginning- of their school journey. The education system, too, is different from the world and demands too much from the children to turn them into ‘ideal’ citizens who just learn to live with their conditions without questioning.
Here are ten most astonishing North Korea school rules that are not just absurd but so deranged that will make you fall in love with your school and perhaps, thankful too.
Imagine studying more than a hundred and seventy hours of your school year about the leader or the President of your country! It might sound a little too obsessive, but this is precisely the case for the North Korean children. Their textbooks revolve around their great Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-Un, and his achievements. It is a must to learn about him and his family and their relation with the mystical Mount Paektu.
These textbooks are more fictional than factual as they state some of the most peculiar things about him, which makes him appear god-like, such as his ability to fire a gun at the age of 3, the power to control the weather, and so much more.
#2: Hair Cut
After every new actor comes into the industry, most of us are influenced by their dress sense and their hairstyles so much that we try to imitate them. If not in school, then definitely among peers outside the school authorities. But the North Korea School rules force students to adhere to a certain number of haircuts in and outside school property.
For male students, it is a strict rule to have the haircut the same as their leader Kim Jong Un, whereas there is an absolute relaxation for the female students as they have the opportunity to choose between fifteen hairstyles. These haircuts have to be followed even when the students complete their education and graduate.
Anyone found not adhering to these rules is subjected to punishment. So, next time you get thrown into detention for going against the uniform standards of the school, be grateful that the sentence you face is not as unpleasant as these students face.
#3: Co-Curricular Activities:
Just like many other schools around the world, North Korea provides several options for children to grow beyond textbook knowledge like dance, singing, sports, and drama. Still, the most important of all is military training. Just to be clear, the songs that the student or any citizen of the country are allowed to listen to and sing are the songs dedicate to the nation and the supreme leaders.
The North Korea School rules force students to participate in one activity that prepares them for military training in the future. These children, at a very young age, are ready to join the force when they grow up; the practice in itself is robust, including things like Martial Arts, Shooting, and combats. The students are brainwashed to hate the Americans by making them fight a dummy with the US official army masks. The North Koreans have made it their agenda to remember the attack and make sure their generations know it too. By the time they become young adults, these Anti-American ideologies become so rigid that they don’t even bother questioning the Government.
Another very important and highly considered co-curricular activity is the ‘Korean Children’s Union Army,’ which is formed as soon as the students turn ten years old. The selection is heavily based on your social status and financial conditions. The more high profile your parents are, the more chances you hold of being selected. These students are groomed to further join the higher governmental status and being the model of Law-abiding citizens.
Despite their hate towards America, the North Korea School rules suggest students learn more than their national language, which includes English. Though the English taught in school is British English, their textbooks are self-published and self-written, which makes the content not entirely accurate. The other language that is shown in their school is Russian. The students don’t get to choose which subject they want to pursue; they are randomly assigned to these classes.
Imagine your life without 24-hour access to the internet, with more than a million sites for you to browse through. The level of dependence we’ve achieved over the internet has its cons. From assignments to web series to gaming, all are available in one search. But this facility is unknown to many in North Korea. The North Korea School rules strictly forbid internet browsing for anything other than school purposes.
The number of sites is limited to 28 in total that to are accessible only after a certain age and only permissible in elite schools. Most students don’t even know about the existence of something so powerful in this century, having said that, you should understand that some students don’t also have electricity at their home. All these websites are either related to academics or about their supreme leader and their political agendas.
#6: Pay Respects
Every classroom has a portrait of Kim Jong Un and Kim Jong-il on top of the blackboard. The students are required to pay respect to their supreme leader every morning. Not just in their classroom, but every classroom they visit with their portrait has to be respected. Even while entering and leaving the school premises, the students are required to stop and bow in front of the paintings hung in front of the school building.
This signifies the idea of being watched by the leaders all the time, and hence any disrespect will be seen by them. The scare is so innately founded in these students that it soon turns into their habit. These North Korea School rules are a form of swearing your allegiance to their regime, showing loyalty, and also replacing them with God.
#7: Stay at School
Most bizarre of all the North Korea School rules is this one. Unlike us, who are desperate to get out of school post noon, to head home, relax and boss around at home, North Korea refrains students from going back until the day is over. These students often build a strong relationship with their teachers, which often surpasses the one they have with their parents because they spend the entire day with their teachers, eating all the three courses with them and their fellow students.
These students aren’t allowed to play outside for long, either as they’re forced into hard labor and military practices. The only time they’re allowed to exit the school premises is when they are visiting the monuments of the Supreme Leaders. Any child, if caught sneaking out, has to often go through strict punishments to set an example. The school buildings, too, are heavily guarded by the military and monitored at all times.
#8: Be Loyal
Loyalty to the country and the supreme leader is more important than breathing air to survive in North Korea. Every person is brainwashed to that extent that if ever caught talking badly about the leaders or even thinking about fleeing the country in private are the worst crimes one could commit. This idea is instilled from the point the child steps foot in school and has to follow throughout his life. The students are taught to follow these North Korea School rules and adhere to them to an extent where it is necessary to report such misconduct even if it’s by your best friend, your parents, or even your partner.
If found hiding such a fact, the entire family might have to suffer the consequence. The crime of disloyalty is seen as a disrespect to the supreme leaders and is equal to the death penalty. There are various documentaries of people who have managed to escape that verify many public executions of the entire family if caught planning to flee the nation. Besides having a choice to live, the other perks a person gets for being loyal are better education, so in other words, students are rewarded for reporting and spying.
Even though it may sound like the entire civilization of North Korea is living a hard life, it’s not entirely accurate. Just like most of the nations around the world, North Korea follows the caste system, dividing people based on their elite-ness and discriminating not only towards the adults but also the students who come from a poor background. The caste-based on which people are characterized are – Special, Nucleus, Basic, Complex, and Hostile. The ones who come under ‘Special’ are mostly the powerful families, the elites who somehow have a right family tie with the Government, and coming down to the hostile who often end up in prison or labor camps where they have next to no opportunity to rise above their situation.
It gets worse at school where children tagged as the hostile group is often forced into labor to pay their fees, at least twice a week which causes to slave labor as they fail to complete their education on time, failing their exams and are unable to complete their school and the cycle goes on. The parents belonging from other social groups too are forced to pay extra expenses in the name of financial contributions for the school, but if they fail to do the needful, their children have to often bear the consequences.
Now that we know about these astonishing North Korea School rules let’s talk a little about the punishment that follows if a student fails to follow them. One of the most commonly used punishment is corporal or physical punishment, such as spanking that is meant to cause physical pain. The punishments that are most feared are as follows – forced into child labor permanently with no scope of returning to complete their education, these labor camps are physically draining and also deprives them of proper nourishment (not to mention the dangerous environment of these camps), separation from family, public execution if the crime is as big as disloyalty, forced to watch public executions from an age as early as 5 to 7.
The students, when subjected to rules as strict as these, followed by the punishments, tend to stop behaving like children at a very young age. These punishments aren’t only hurting them physically but also quite disturbing, the vivid images these kids grow up watching often makes them numb, forcing them to surrender or give in their situations and accepting their helplessness. Most of the students also face ruthless punishments at home, which includes domestic violence and sexual abuse, which is neglected by the Government. Most of the students who once enter the labor camps are likely to come out of it dead as they’re used for hard work for ages.
These North Korea school rules aren’t just scary but also forceful, stealing away a child’s identity and their childhood. The country is solely breeding soldiers and laborers to command and run their country, who just learns to respect their Supreme leader, not knowing why. Let me know down in the comment section what would have been your reaction if these rules were universal and you too were a part of it?