School Entrance Ceremonies One Month Late, Wearing Masks

School Entrance Ceremonies One Month Late, Wearing Masks

Elementary, Junior High, and Senior High Schools Within Fukui Prefecture, Novel Coronavirus Prevention

On May 7th, in the midst of the prolonged school closures, as a preventative measure against the continuous spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), elementary, junior high, and senior high schools in seven municipalities across Fukui Prefecture, including Echizen City and Mihama Town, held their entrance ceremonies. With the refreshingly clear early-summer weather, the new students, as well as their parents and guardians, were wearing masks. While on high alert, schools embark on a new stage as they take on the challenge of holding the ceremonies a month late.

In Echizen City’s Kamiyama Elementary School, at around 9:00 p.m., thirty new students wearing their brand new uniforms, with their parents and guardians, gather in front of the school gate, one after another. Space is opened up between the students, as they form lines, and using hand sanitizers before entering the gymnasium.

The entrance ceremony begins with about two metres of space between every student’s seat; as each of the new students hear their name called, they respond, brimming with energy. School Principal Tomie Takura welcomed the students, “I’m happy to finally be able to hear everyone’s voices”; she continues by advising the students, “Let’s take care of our minds and bodies from getting sick, by leading a proper lifestyle.” The ceremony ended after about 20 minutes.

“I want to study with my friends,” said a new first-year student, with an expression full of hope.

“My child has finally entered elementary school. I hope to raise my child to be able to overcome such a tough situation like this,” said the father (aged 45), with a warm gaze upon his child.

At the same time, Tannan Senior High School has merged into the newly formed Sabae Senior High School, with the Inquiry Course as one of the learning paths within the curriculum; for the school’s entrance ceremony, 276 students were in attendance. The entrance ceremony was carried out with only the students and the school associates present.

“Since parents have been able to attend all the entrance and graduation ceremonies up to this point, it’s very disappointing to be unable to watch over the children while nearby,” said an Echizen City mother (aged 40), who dropped off her daughter at school.

“I was worried about the condition of my studies during the school closures; it also feels lonesome not seeing my friends. I’m glad to be able to go through this entrance ceremony without any problems,” said a new Inquiry Course first-year student (aged 15).

Seven out of eleven students from outside Fukui Prefecture were unable to attend the entrance ceremony, due to having to stay home for a two-week period, in accordance with a Fukui Prefectural Citizen Guideline.


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