North Korea has launched an online education system, complete with an accompanying cellphone app, according to the most recent issue of the monthly issued Pictorial Korea magazine.
The online learning tool was developed by the Kim Chaek University of Technology, and allows users with mobile devices to attend lectures remotely.
“Using cellphones, (students) can attend all lectures of the college at their convenience and copy necessary study materials onto their cellphones and read them any time,” the article reads.
The feature contains an image of the app working on a cellphone, although the top left of the corner of the screen appears to have been edited.
If accurate, users are able to select one of six options when using accessing the app and can check their grades, timetables, take exams remotely, ask questions and read study materials.
Other images in the feature show North Korean citizens using the app on cellphones in various locations. One picture also shows the e-leaning platform being used in more traditional classroom setting.
While in general North Koreans have limited access to the internet, the new service indicates North Korea continues to develop its local intranet.
“Their intranet is organized on a national scale … Kim Jong Un’s regime is focusing on IT modernization and communication. However, they are not going to let people use the (external) internet, so to continue to modernize, they will use several methods like developing applications that work over their intranet,” Seo So-young, a researcher at the Korea Information Society Development Institute (KISDI), told NK News.
“I cannot say whether it’s true or not, but under Kim’s regime, the government is trying hard to develop education-related phone software … For example, the “Samjiyon” tablet has similar applications inside,” she added.
The North Korean university already had distance learning programs in place, according to North Korean media. Last month the Korean Central News Agency published an article on how the first students enrolled in a “tele-education” program had graduated.
The students were “40 discharged service personnel working at the Hwanghae Iron and Steel Complex,” the article reads.
Additional reporting by Hyunbi Park
Featured image: Pictorial Korea
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