The development of a cult of personality in totalitarian states is nothing new, but it's still pretty shocking to discover the full extent of its impact in the pariah state of North Korea in 2016.
A new report by the Korea Institute for Curriculum Evaluation (KICE) has revealed just how much school time is dedicated to children learning about the lives of the dear leader Kim Jong-un, his father Kim Jong-il, his grandfather Kim Il-sung and his grandmother Kim Jong-suk.
While the most time is spent on studying the Korean language and mathematics - 1,197 hours and 821 hours during the five-year curriculum which begins citizens' 12-year mandatory education, respectively - learning about the ruling dynasty is the next biggest time outlay, clocking in at a huge total of 684 hours. This time is necessary in order for the state's education doctrine - for “students to acquire the concept of revolution and endless loyalty toward (North Korea’s ruling) party and the supreme leader (Kim Il-sung), while constituting the spirit to safeguard dear leader Kim Jong-un” - to be achieved.
Of course, learning about your country's history is not necessarily a bad thing - after all, we remember spending plenty of time attempting to memorise those former Kings and Queens, as well as Henry VIII's many wives - but what exactly are they learning about their ruling family? Well, as a communist nation, they are taught that everyone is equal and that they are engaging in a revolution of the workers, they also believe that they need the Kim dynasty - which has ruled since 1948 - to guide them. So, they need people to believe that they are slightly more talented than, perhaps, they really are...