A Notice by Fukui City Board of Education to Elementary and Junior High School Principals
On March 11th, a notice was sent from the Fukui City Board of Education to every elementary and junior high school principals; the notice stated that after the end of the school closures, an infection control measure in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), from the 25th, as the school year enters the spring vacation, the decisions to prep schools for attendance and to carry out club activities will be under each school’s discretion.
Upon receiving the notice, some junior high schools have decided to set up three days to hold supplementary classes and to carry out club activities. One school principal expressed, ” I didn’t think it was feasible to have students shut in their homes for a month, so I’m grateful for this notice from the municipal board of education. I think the students will be delighted to attend club activities again.”
On the other side, a perplexed junior high school principal explained, “With the timing of the request by the government’s expert panel (on March 9th) to continue school closures until around the 19th, and then being informed that ‘school attendance and club activities may resume’, it is difficult to make a decision.” The principal continued, “I will look to hear the opinions of the parents, guardians, and elementary schools within the school district, and decide accordingly.”
In regards to the children’s remaining curriculum, left behind because of the temporary school closures, Prefectural Superintendent of Education Kinnichi Toyokita responded to the issue in a prefectural special committee budget hearing on March 10th, “We have been considering carrying over the leftover materials and implementing it in the lessons from April.”
“The response by the prefectural superintendent and the notice by the municipal board of education creates an inconsistent impression,” a different junior high school principal expressed. “In a small school, there is only one teaching staff in charge of a whole subject; if that teacher happens to be transferred to a different school, implementing and executing the leftover materials in April would be difficult,” continued the principal, while expressing an understanding with the municipal board of education’s decision.