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Osaka pro-Pyongyang school holds public open day in bid to win support

Students study during a lesson watched by members of the public, at the Osaka Korean High School in Higashiosaka, Osaka Prefecture, on Nov. 9, 2019. (Mainichi)

HIGASHIOSAKA, Osaka -- In a bid to get the local community to better understand what goes on behind its doors, the Osaka Korean High School, one of a number of pro-Pyongyang schools that are exempt from policies to waiver tuition fees for students, held an open day for residents to see its lessons.

The event at the school in Higashiosaka, Osaka Prefecture, which has 229 students, was attended by around 160 people. In August, the education facility lost a case to have it included under the tuition fee waiver program for high schools when the Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that dismissed the school's claim. The open lessons are now one way for the school to give people a firsthand idea of its activities.

Those who attended the event saw lessons in subjects including English, math and social studies, which were taught in Korean. There was also a chance to see the textbooks they use. Some people even commented on how the content wasn't different from Japanese textbooks.

After the lessons, teachers and students at the school, as well as parents and guardians, spoke about the institution. One third-year student said, "I love our school. There are difficult circumstances, but we want more people to learn about our school." The principal said, "People say that this is anti-Japanese education, but I want you to see the teaching at this school for yourself and decide what you think."

A school teacher from Higashiosaka who came to see the lessons said, "I didn't think they were especially different classes. I think that, just like other schools attended by Japanese children, this school should receive subsidies."

(Japanese original by Yuta Shibayama, Osaka City News Department)

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