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Artificial intelligence (AI) will be introduced as a new subject in local high schools next year before being expanded to the curriculums of kindergartens and elementary and middle schools by 2025, the education ministry said Friday (November 20), declaring a bid to strengthen AI education in preparation for a digital future.

The government’s AI education blueprint was announced after Minister of Education Yoo Eun-hae presided over a meeting of social affairs ministers for discussions on adjusting its education policies to better foster human resources in the era of AI.

South Korea has chosen AI as an important education policy task in consideration of the recent digital technology advancement accelerated by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the policy plan, two career elective subjects — introductory AI and mathematics of AI — will be introduced to high schools nationwide in the second semester of next year, the ministry said.

The AI education will then be introduced to elementary and middle schools by 2025, with curriculums including programming, basic principles of AI, use of AI and AI ethics, it noted.

The government will develop and distribute AI-related education materials to all elementary and secondary schools, beginning next year, so that students can receive AI education even before its formal introduction, it added.

For kindergarten pupils as well, the government will develop various study materials intended to help children become more acquainted with AI through play.

In order to strengthen teachers’ AI-related competencies, the government will ensure that AI-related content is included in basic and information and computer teaching courses. In a relevant move, it will push to have graduate schools of education offer AI reeducation programs to about 5,000 incumbent teachers by 2025. (Yonhap)

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