Sakha-Korean School

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Sakha-Korean School
42 Korolenko St.
Yakutsk, 677005
Sakha Republic[1]
Established 1994[2][3]
Principal Olga Kimovna Potapova[4]
Faculty 30[5]
Number of students 280[6]
Sakha-Korean School
Korean name
Hangul 사하·한국학교[7]
Hanja 사하·韓國學校
Russian name
Russian Саха-корейская школа[4]
Romanization Sakha-koreyskaya shkola

The Sakha-Korean School is a school in Yakutsk, Sakha Republic. It was founded in 1994[2] and in 2008 it enrolled roughly 280 students at the primary and middle-school levels (up from roughly 200 in 2002).[2][6]


The origins of the school go back to May 1994; a South Korean ethnographer doing research on the indigenous peoples of Siberia had been in discussions with the government of the Sakha Republic to set up a Korean-language school, and began to look for teachers in South Korea. Gang Deok-su, a professor of Russian at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and head of the Sakha-Korea Friendship association, agreed to assist.[3][8] The Yakutsk Korean Association, founded in 1989, had previously set up Sunday schools for the teaching of the Korean language, but due to the increasing demand for specialists of the language, powerful supporters threw their weight behind the move to set up a full-time school, including president of the Sakha Republic Mikhail Nikolayev. Then-head of the Yakutsk Department of Education Evgeniya Mikhailova provided early local leadership for the project; the Sakha Republic government has continued to provide financial support to the school as part of its wider plan to improve foreign-language education in the republic.[3][9] Other early local supporters of the school included head of the Institute for Advanced Education Studies[10] Olga Chorosova and chairwoman of the Yakutsk Korean Association Vera Shamayeva.[9]

In 2006, the school established a branch in Aldansky Ulus.[11]

Roughly 250 students have graduated from the school since its founding. Its fifteenth anniversary, in December 2009, was celebrated in a ceremony attended by Mikhailova (who by then had risen to the position of vice-president of the Sakha Republic), minister of internal affairs Georgy Nikonov, and the South Korean consul-general of Irkutsk, Choi Seok-in.[12]


Olga Kimovna Potapova was promoted from vice-principal to principal in 2002, when her predecessor Gennady Kim decided to take another job.[4][5] The school have a teaching staff of 25 full-time teachers and 5 part-time teachers.[5] Their staff includes four South Korean teachers.[2]


Among other subjects, the school offers Korean as a second language, taught by the native Korean teachers; teaching begins in the 5th grade, with three contact hours per week.[6] It is one of two schools in Yakutsk which offers Korean to young students, the other being School #16.[13] The teachers experience some culture shock at the different style of education, including the relative lack of age-based hierarchy at the school.[4] The school also introduces other aspects of Korean culture to students, such as taekwondo, Korean music and Korean cuisine.[3] Japanese and Chinese languages are also taught.[6] Each summer, the school sends about 10 to 20 of its students to Seoul, South Korea, on study-abroad and homestay programmes.[7][14] Graduates have gone on to work in a variety of Korean-related fields including translation and as language instructors at Yakutsk State University; others have earned places at South Korean universities for further studies.[12]


  1. ^ Contact, Sakha-Korean School, 2001, retrieved 4 August 2009 
  2. ^ a b c d Gang, Deok-su (27 March 2002), "해외한국학교 누가 키웁니까/Who will cultivate Korean schools overseas?", JoongAng Ilbo, retrieved 3 August 2009 
  3. ^ a b c d Eom, Sang-hyeon (13 June 2006), "12년간 사하공화국 전도사 역할 한국외대 강덕수 교수: "한국-사하共 이젠 일촌지간이죠"/Gang Deok-su, Hankuk Foreign Studies University professor and missionary in the Sakha Republic for 12 years", Donga Weekly (539), pp. 72–73, retrieved 3 August 2009 
  4. ^ a b c d Afonina, Alena (30 July 2004), "Женщина номера – Ольга Кимовна Потапова – директор Саха-корейской школы с 2002 года/Olga Kimovna Potapova - Director of the Sakha-Korean School since 2002", Ezhenedel'naya Gazeta Onaplyus (31), retrieved 3 August 2009 
  5. ^ a b c Staff, Sakha-Korean School, 2001, retrieved 4 August 2009 
  6. ^ a b c d "시베리아의 한국학교를 아십니까/Do you know about the Korean schools in Siberia?", Yonhap News, 7 July 2008, retrieved 3 August 2009 
  7. ^ a b "사하한국학교 연수단 에버랜드 방문/Sakha-Korean School study group visits Everland", No Cut News, 14 August 2006, retrieved 3 August 2009 
  8. ^ "러 사하공화국에서 한국말 뿌리 확인/In Russia's Sakha Republic, the Korean language takes root", Chosun Ilbo, 8 June 2010, retrieved 1 September 2010 
  9. ^ a b "Ассоциация корейцев города Якутска/The Korean Association of the city of Yakutsk", Ilin, 32 (1), 2003, retrieved 18 February 2010 
  10. ^ Институт повышения квалификации работников образования
  11. ^ История школы/School history, Sakha-Korean School, retrieved 18 February 2010 
  12. ^ a b Agafonova, Elena (11 December 2009), "Саха-Корейская школа отметила 15-летний юбилей/Sakha-Korean School celebrates 15th anniversary", Yakutian-Sakha Informational Agency, retrieved 18 February 2010 
  13. ^ Mariya, Pavlova (22 July 2005), "Я корейский бы выучил... Учить иностранные языки современные дети начинают в детских садах, в начальных классах/I have to learn Korean ... children today begin learning foreign languages in kindergarten and early grades", Gazeta Yakutia, retrieved 4 August 2009 
  14. ^ Gim, Jeong-hwan (10 August 2010), "러시아 사하공화국 청소년들, 인천 방문/Youths from Russia's Sakha Republic visit Incheon", Kyonggi Broadcasting, retrieved 1 September 2010 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 62°2′7″N 129°43′33″E / 62.03528°N 129.72583°E / 62.03528; 129.72583