President Park’s approval rating edges down amid history textbook row

October 23, 2015
South Korean President Park Geun-hye speaks during a joint news conference with President Barack Obama in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

South Korean President Park Geun-hye speaks during a joint news conference with President Barack Obama in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — President Park Geun-hye’s job approval rating edged down amid controversy over the government’s decision to reintroduce state history textbooks for secondary school students.

A poll released by Gallup Korea showed 42 percent approved of the job Park is doing, down one percentage point from a week earlier.

It also found that those who disapproved of Park’s job performance came to 47 percent, up 3 percentage points from a week earlier.

The polling agency said the government’s recent decision is to blame for the decline of Park’s approval rating for a second straight week.

The Ministry of Education said earlier this month history textbooks for middle and high school students will be authored by the government starting in the 2017 school year to address what the government calls the predominantly left-leaning contents in current books.

Currently, history textbooks are published by eight private publishing companies after being approved by an independent textbook review committee of experts. Secondary schools choose from any of the eight textbooks, while primary schools have a single set of state-authored history textbooks.

The poll also said 36 percent supported the government’s decision over history textbooks while 47 percent were against it.

The latest survey was conducted on 1,010 adults from Oct. 20 through Oct. 22 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

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