History

Pioneer in the Campaign Against Illiteracy

The Korean people put an end to the Japanese imperialist colonial rule and greeted the national liberation on August 15, Juche 34 (1945).

At that time, most of the population was illiterates in Korea. After liberation a campaign against illiteracy was conducted as an all-people movement under the slogan “Let’s abolish illiteracy first for the cultural improvement of the people!”.

Ri Kye San in Phyonggang County of Kangwon Province was a pioneer in the campaign against illiteracy.

She wanted to express thanks to the great leader Kim Il Sung for liberating the country and distributing the land to the peasants. So she came to Pyongyang in August Juche 36 (1947) with the new grain of the year she picked and chose after harvesting in her land.

She was an illiterate as she was kept in bondage at a landlord’s before liberation.

Kim Il Sung told her that a person with literacy can lead a worthwhile life and make an active contribution to the state affairs. Back home, Ri Kye San studied very hard to learn Korean alphabet. After three months, she herself wrote a letter to Kim Il Sung.

An account of her deed was carried in the daily “Rodong Sinmun” on December 3, Juche 36 (1947).

On the day when she presented her simple letter to Kim Il Sung, a meeting was held by peasants in Phyonggang County to call upon the people across the country to conduct the Ri Kye San Movement for abolishing illiteracy.

Along with the movement, the illiteracy was completely abolished throughout the country until 1949.

Afterwards, too, Ri Kye San studied hard and graduated from a university. She grew to be the chairwoman of a farm management board, deputy to the Supreme People’s Assembly, and Labour Hero.

Not only Ri Kye San but a lot of people who had once been illiterates awoke from illiteracy after liberation and devoted all their wisdom and enthusiasm to the country.

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