Kindergarten Full of Dreams
Some time ago I visited the newly-built Wisong Kindergarten in Unjong District, Pyongyang.
When I arrived at the kindergarten, the children were doing morning exercise to the music of the animation The Boy General. Rubber sheets were laid on the ground lest the children would get hurt if they fall down during play. Headmistress of the kindergarten Ri Son Ok, who was with the children, greeted me. She said, “When we see the bright faces of the children laughing and singing loudly at this palatial kindergarten, we recollect how it was built. When the construction was nearly completed, several vehicles rolled up to my kindergarten. They were loaded with toys and sporting apparatuses for the children. Words failed to express my feelings.” Then she led me to the entrance hall.
In the hall there was a picture of President
Guiding me to the corridor of the ground floor Ri said that the ground floor shows the sea, while the first and second floors depict the land and the sky respectively. She pointed to the wave-style decoration belt on both sides of the corridor. Above the decoration belt several kinds of sea and freshwater fishes were painted and above them were pictures of animals from animations such as The Hedgehog Defeats the Tiger.
Now the morning exercise was over and the children went into their education rooms. Following them we dropped in at Senior Class B on the ground floor. It was a drawing lesson, and the teacher asked the children draw pictures to show their wishes. Then the children began to draw with crayons and pencils. I approached a child with curiosity, who was drawing a microscope. I asked him what it was, and he answered it was a toy in the kindergarten and that his teacher said it was a tool used by the scientists. He said, “When I grow up, I’d like to use it like my father. He is a scientist.” Another child was quietly drawing a saw, a hammer, nails and other carpenter’s tools. To my question he answered that he wished to grow up quickly to erect a huge house to delight the dear leader
I came out of the room and I found shoe chests in the ante-room pasted with pictures of tank, plane, gun, apple, cucumber, tomato, peach and others on each shelf. Ri said that the pictures help the children find their shelves.
Then I went up to the general playroom on the first floor. There was a housekeeping play section involving toys like a refrigerator, an electric rice cooker, spoons, chopsticks, and bowls. In the doctor-acting play section there was a stethoscope, a microscope, a white overall, a sanitary cap and a first-aid bag and the like. I also saw the paduk board in the playroom which was one of the children’s favourite games.
Coming out of the playroom I walked along the corridor. On the wall there were pictures of a cock, a rabbit, a bear and a pig under the question of What did you lose? It was a puzzle to find out the things the animals lose in camping. I climbed up to the second floor.
From the ceiling were hung numerous big and small red stars as if resembling the stars in the sky. Ri said that there were amusement and exercise rooms. As if proving her words there came sounds of the song We Are the Happiest in the World to the accompaniment of accordion in the amusement room. The exercise room was packed with different sporting apparatuses including mini-backstops, toy horses and bicycles. The children of Senior Class C were doing exercises using those apparatuses. Teacher Song Yong Sim said, “It is just like a dream. Thinking of the fact that I am now working at this wonderful kindergarten I brace myself up to bring up the children well.” In her words I read other teachers’ mind as well to be faithful to their task as the educators of rising generation.
I also made the rounds of the wading pool, dining room and kitchen. Keenly feeling the State benefits for the children I wrapped up my visit to the kindergarten.
Sim Yong Jin