An EBS Program and Null Curriculum
An EBS Program and Null Curriculum
  • Reporter Park Hee-won
  • 승인 2018.03.28 12:50
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▲Parents demonstrating in front of EBS building / Newstown
▲Parents demonstrating in front of EBS building / Newstown

Recently concluded, a TV program broadcasted on EBS had been an issue. The purpose of this show was to introduce and raise awareness regarding sexual stereotypes and conflicts caused by gender roles. On Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, guests were LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender)individuals, which led to a shower of protest and demonstrations by some parent associations. Hatred towards the minorities covered the internet board, saying ‘Education broadcaster encourages homosexuality in the name of gender sensitivity.’ They alleged that homosexuality is ‘contagious’ and asserted that this program is a peril to the adolescents at the demonstration.

Consequently, an early end to this show was decided. A bisexual writer Eun Ha-sun was unilaterally notified to leave just before the end of program. In a joint statement by several culture critics, a writer and a professor, insisted that the decision of EBS is unacceptable and criticized EBS for fulfilling the demand of anti-LGBT groups by ignoring and deleting the existence of LGBT groups. They also claimed that it is paradoxical in terms of program goals – contributing to gender equality in this society. EBS refuted that Eun Ha-sun had been removed from the show, because on her SNS, she intended to post the queer festival support phone number against demonstrators as if it were the contact address of the producer.

Regardless, that the parent’s association took part in this decision is questionable. The second clause of the article six of the Broadcasting Act states that the broadcaster should not discriminate in organizing due to gender, age, occupation, religion, faith, stratum, region and race. Also the fifth clause of the same article said, the broadcaster should faithfully strive to reflect the profit of the stratums, who are comparable minorities or unfavorable to making profits. It could be interpreted as a violation of the Broadcasting Act that EBS surrendered to the powerful voices that were opposed to the various LGBT groups.

Through this series, the necessity of LGBT and gender education was emphasized. Korean students generally do not learn or develop and awareness of LGBT groups. It is due to a null curriculum that deliberately avoids teaching socially controversial, but educationally worthwhile contents. This ‘null’ refers to the state free of legal binding force, which is not officially planned. Ignorance caused by not teaching can be a significant variable in value judgement and deciding behavior. ‘Curriculum as exclusion’ works out ignorance – which needs to be avoided. Not teaching creationism and not teaching Dokdo island is Korean territory in Japan is an example of a null curriculum or subjects that are not taught.

Though it is inevitable result of curriculum, null curriculum excludes and undermines certain content and students miss a chance to learn. Last September, there was a demonstration of the Korean Teachers and Educational Worker’s Union claiming for removing this null curriculum in the field of LGBT people. Though there were parents and protesters who opposed that, it is clear that educators should reconsider the introduction of this topic into the curriculum to educate students and to prepare them for contemporary society. After all, adolescents have the right to know the way things are.

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