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03/19/2019 HYU News > General


Sports-oriented Education System of Hanyang University Middle School

Principal Noh Ji-ho (Ph.D. in Physical Education, '95)


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It might come across as different or new that a middle school principal majored in physical education, especially in South Korea where “kookyoungsoo” (a shortened Korean term for Korean, English, and math) are the most important subjects to master, and where it is hard to miss the signs advertising the many education academies along the streets. Amid this trend, a principal who focuses more on building students’ character, by trying to improve teamwork and caring characteristics, is Noh Ji-ho (Physical Education Ph.D, '95).

The principal from the Department of Physical Education

Principal Noh Ji-ho graduated from Hanyang University's Department of Physical Education in 1980 and earned a master's degree in the same major in 1985, followed by a doctorate in 1995. He was appointed the principal of Hanyang University Middle School in August 31st, 2018, after many years of teaching as a P.E. teacher at the school, and after 8 years of being its vice-principal.
After his inauguration as the principal, Noh began focusing more on sports and exercise education in order to prevent school violence. It turns out that the gathering of school violence committees has declined significantly, and the number of students forcefully transferred to other schools went down after promoting sports activities within the school, according to Noh.
Principal Noh Ji-ho (Ph.D. in Physical Education, ’95) felt it was his only goal to foster younger students in the name of Hanyang.

Specialties of Hanyang University Middle School

Regular school curriculum requires every middle school to take an hour or two of P.E. class a week. Hanyang University Middle School differs from other schools, however, in that it runs after-school sports clubs as well as Saturday sports clubs for two hours. The available activities include soccer, baseball, softball, badminton, dance, and more. Both programs are supported financially by the Seongdong District Office. According to the principal and P.E. teachers of the school, almost twice as many students enjoy participating in the sports clubs over the after-school classes for major subjects studies.
Students are stretching in the yoga sports club.
(Photo courtesy of Kwon)
Girls' softball class taking place in the schoolyard of Hanyang University Middle School
(Photo courtesy of Kwon)
A visit from former baseball coach Kang Byeong-chel to the softball class
(Photo courtesy of Kwon)
The Hanyang cycling club adds another type of sport to the various activities of Hanyang University Middle School.
(Photo courtesy of Kwon)

The principal stressed the importance of making sports club activities a type of education that everyone can participate in, distinct from academic subjects education. Also, he said that implanting the habit of exercise from an early age will result in more awareness of one’s health and allow students to become healthy and fit adults.  

The P.E. teachers of Hanyang University Middle School
(From left) Kwon Chang-hun and Seok Hyun-ho are P.E. teachers of Hanyang University Middle School.

Kwon Chang-hun first came to the school in 2003 and is mainly in charge of baseball after-school activities. Seok Hyun-ho is the current head of physical education at Hanyang University Middle School, and he has been a P.E. teacher for 18 years now, starting in 2001. He is in charge of basketball after-school activities. “Students are all that the teachers look forward to. As a P.E. teacher, I want the students to lead a healthy, active school life, and I will do my best to open such opportunities at the school for them.”

Hanyang Girls' Baseball Team

Noh recalled a female student who wished to transfer to Hanyang University Middle School because the school had a girls' baseball team. The girls' baseball team is well-known within the district, and they have been participating in many competitions such as the An Jung-geun Peace Cup Softball Championship. The team won the championship in 2017 and took 3rd place in 2018. They are planning on entering the contest again with new members this year.
Kim Chae-won and Kim So-yeon are members of the Hanyang Girls' Baseball Team. They are also enrolled in the yoga and badminton sports club, respectively. “I feel impressed and proud when I see our all girls' baseball team,” said Kim So-yeon, who is in third grade. “My personality changed. I used to be passive and quite, but now I’m more open,” said Kim Chae-won. They both expressed the pleasant feeling of receiving their first team uniform. 
“It was a new experience for us to wear sports uniforms. I felt like I was a professional baseball player,” said Kim Chae-won.

Hanyang University Middle School has not only instilled a new viewpoint in handling the Korean education system with a principal who majored in physical education, but it also encourages teenage girls to join in more sports activities full-heartedly, reminding them that they can express their physical skills. Small changes and innovations that sprout from Hanyang University Middle School by affectionate teachers and leaders will surely make a positive impact on students and their future society.

Kim Hyun-soo
Photos by Park Geun-hyung
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