Ho Kum Sok in Munhung-dong No. 2, Taedonggang District, Pyongyang
“I spent my whole life as a teacher and some time ago I retired on a pension.
After retirement, I feel remorse for having quitted my job without keeping the pledge I had made before the great leader Kim Il Sung on the glorious day when I met him.
I was born as the fifth of my eight brothers and sisters. We all grew up under the care of our widowed mother. My mother was so ill that she could not participate in the social life properly but had to be in hospital all the time.
However, we all graduated from universities without any worry about food, clothing and study under the state benefits.
My eldest sister became a teacher after graduating from a university of education. On the day when she was about to go to work for the first time, my mother said: The children you are going to teach are all growing up in a good social system without envy like you. You should do your duty as educator to bring them up as good pillars of the country.
Her request was kept deep in my mind as well.
So afterwards, I also became a teacher. At the age of 23, I became the principal of the then Hoeryong Women’s Senior Middle School in North Hamgyong Province. It seemed as if it were yesterday that I was at a loss what to do in confusion.
Officials and students’ parents actively helped me in my work, calling me ‘girl principal’.
Thanks to the help of those kind people, I could make successes from the beginning. The school was faced-lifted, the educational conditions and environment improved and the ability of students markedly increased.
Two years later, in October Juche 67 (1978) I took part in the Eighth National Conference of Educational Workers as delegate.
I cannot forget it forever.
It was dreamlike that I attended the conference held in the presence of the fatherly leader Kim Il Sung.
What’s more, I had the honour of reading the letter of pledge to him on behalf of the participants in the conference and the educators across the country.
After the conference, he had a picture taken with our educators, when I stood just beside him.
It was the happiest moment in my life.
The pledge I made to him on the day served as the motive force that pushed me forward so that I could keep and glorify all my life the pride and honour of being an educator who brings up the rising generations.
Sometimes, I was very exhausted enough to give up my work, but I made strenuous efforts with the consciousness that the future of the country is up to our educators.
Working as principal at a number of schools, I devoted all my enthusiasm to education of the rising generations for more than 40 years. In those days I became Merited Teacher and Meritorious Person of Socialist Patriotism and took part in several conferences as delegate.
Since I have retired on a pension, my children advise me to live in comfort. But I cannot do so.
I want to remain true to the pledge I made to the fatherly leader Kim Il Sung on the glorious day. So I go to school every day to help the young teachers.
Revolution is now brought about in education to put the education of the country on the most developed level in the earliest period. It is my desire to leave clear traces of my life on the road in the future, too.”