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Development of General Secondary Education of DPRK Reflected on Some Laws


Since its liberation from the Japanese imperialists' military occupation our country has given absolute priority to education, facilitating the development of education by adopting and promulgating good many decisions, laws and ordinances.

The 4th Session of the Supreme People’s Assembly held on September 10, Juche 38 (1949) promulgated the law on introduction of universal compulsory primary education. Through this law the state announced the programme of enforcing general compulsory primary education from September 1, Juche 39 (1950) and stipulated that the compulsory education was to be carried on by means of free education, that the state should supply textbooks and other school things to the children of poor families free of charge, and that parents and guardians of children of school ages (from 7 to 15) were duty-bound to send their children to school.

The law on the three-year plan of rehabilitation and development of the national economy, adopted at the 7th Session of the Supreme People’s Assembly in June Juche 43 (1954), stipulated specific tasks of the three-year plan of development of public education. Based on the implementation of the three-year plan of educational development, the universal compulsory primary education was fully introduced from August 1, Juche 45 (1956).

Thanks to the introduction of universal compulsory primary education, the democratic educational system of our country was further consolidated with its advantages and vitality turning out more evident, and a solid foundation came into existence to develop compulsory education steadily in keeping with the pace of socialist construction.

By the law adopted at the 4th Session of the 2nd Supreme People’s Assembly on October 2, Juche 47 (1958), universal compulsory secondary education was enforced across our country from November 1, Juche 47 (1958). This was of great significance in further developing the people-oriented education in our country.  By a decision of the Cabinet adopted on March 2, Juche 48 (1959), school fees were completely abolished in all educational establishments in our country from April 1, Juche 48 (1959). Thanks to the enforcement of universal free education, anyone in our country could enjoy the benefit of the right to get education at state and social expenses without paying even a penny.

The 6th Session of the 3rd Supreme People’s Assembly in November Juche 55 (1966) adopted the law on enforcement of universal 9-year compulsory technical education. Announcing the programme of introducing universal 9-year compulsory technical education from April 1, Juche 56 (1967), the law stipulated that the 9-year compulsory technical education was to be implemented through the 4-year primary school and 5-year secondary school courses free of charge and that the objects should include all children aged from 7 to 16.

The 2nd Session of the 5th Supreme People’s Assembly on April 9, Juche 62 (1973) adopted the law “On the introduction of universal ten-year compulsory senior middle education and one-year compulsory preschool education”. The law stipulated that universal 10-year compulsory middle education was to be introduced gradually from the 1972-1973 school year and completed throughout our country by the 1975-1976 school year. It also indicated the order, methods, courses, educational content and so on.

Thanks to the law the universal 11-year compulsory education was completely enforced in our country and we could consolidate and develop the socialist educational system and bring its advantages into full play.

The 6th Session of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly on September 25, Juche 101 (2012) adopted the law on enforcement of universal 12-year compulsory education. The law announced that the universal 12-year compulsory education was to be given free of charge and that it would enroll all children and young people aged from 5 to 17. It also pronounced that the system comprises 1-year pre-school course, 5-year primary school one, 3-year junior middle school one and 3-year senior middle school one, and stipulated the relevant order and methods of its implementation. Thanks to the law, a strong foundation was laid to develop our country into an educational power.