Professor slammed over test’s content

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Professor slammed over test’s content

A professor at Seoul’s Hongik University has come under fire for writing exam questions that appear to demean Korea’s late Presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun.

The university’s student council, along with the support of 10 other Hongik University student organizations, released a statement June 11 demanding an honest, formal apology from the professor as well as his resignation from the institute.

According to the statement, the final exam on June 9 for American Contract Law, which the professor outlined and wrote in English, contained questions that apparently ridiculed the two former presidents.

“Roh was 17 years old and his I.Q of 69,” read the text for one of the exam questions, which were not grammatically sound. “He suffered brain defective resulted from his jumping from Owl of Rock when he was six.”

Not only did the character in the exam question share the same name with late President Roh, but Owl Rock was where the late president fell to his death in 2009.

Another question states: “Dae-Jung Deadbeat open a small restaurant, ‘Black Mountain Isle’ to sell raja-kenojei (‘hang-o’) food.”

In this case, issue was taken with the use of the term “deadbeat,” which refers to an idle, incompetent individual, to describe a character that shared the same name with the late Kim.

Black Mountain Isle, or Heuksan Island in Sinan County, South Jeolla, is the former president’s hometown, and the food mentioned in the question is a local delicacy on the island.

“Instead of evading [the issue] or making excuses, the professor must take responsibility for his remarks,” the council’s statement said. “School authorities must reprimand him and adopt preventive measures so this [sort of incident] does not happen again.”

According to the student council, in its third meeting with the professor to address the controversy, he maintained that he had not put the questions on the exam with the intention of debasing the former president.

“When I was lecturing, I was just giving examples,” he was quoted as saying. “The two presidents aren’t gods; it’s reasonable that they can receive historical criticism.”

The professor did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

BY KIM SUN-MI [enational@joongang.co.kr]
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