Winter Vacation Also Shortened, No Fall Vacation Established
On May 15th, regarding the closures of Fukui Prefectural schools due to the continuous spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the prefecture has decided to reopen schools on June 1st. Thorough infection prevention measures will be taken, such as having to wear masks, and opening up space between students’ desks. Seven municipalities across Fukui City, Katsuyama City, Sabae City, Eiheiji Town, Ikeda Town, Echizen Town, and Mihama Town, have also decided to reopen elementary and junior high schools on June 1st. Elementary and junior high schools in Fukui City will hold its entrance ceremonies on May 29th. Summer vacation will take place from August 1st to the 16th, and winter vacation will be from December 26th to January 4th; a period for fall vacation will not be established.
The decision to reopen Fukui Prefectural schools was made during a Novel Coronavirus Response Headquarters conference. In regards to the June 1st reopening date, Fukui Prefectural Governor Tatsuji Sugimoto explained after the conference, “There are many prefectures assessing the situation throughout this month of May. In Fukui’s case, home lessons have been taking place from May 11th, and we are able to keep the falling behind of learning materials to a minimum.” In an online meeting on the morning of May 15th, between the leaders of 17 municipalities, no objections were made against Fukui Prefecture’s plan.
Concerning school club activities, after prefectural schools reopen, notifications will be sent out for training to only take place within school grounds and regular practice locations for one month, or for a ban on external games or matches within that month.
In a case where students may become infected, factors such as whether or not there are symptoms, and the potential spread of infection, will altogether be taken into account, upon which the whole school, or part of the school, will be temporarily closed. From May 18th, it has been made possible to increase the amount of school attendance within a week to 2 or 3 times.
For 10 municipalities, although a meeting between school principals is still to take place concerning the reopening of elementary or junior high schools, it is believed that the majority will proceed in line with the Prefectural Board of Education’s plan to reopen on June 1st.
Meanwhile, chairman of the Fukui Prefecture Private Junior and Senior High School Association Akihito Ogihara (also principal of Keishin Senior High School) stated, “Each private school will make its own judgement, while taking the decision of the prefecture into consideration.”