Fukui Prefecture, Junior High School Students’ English Levels, Number One in Japan

Fukui Prefecture, Junior High School Students’ English Levels, Number One in Japan

2019 Report, Third Year in a Row, 61% for 3rd Year JHS Students Have at Least EIKEN Grade 3 Proficiency

On July 15th, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) released an implementation status survey report regarding English education across public elementary, junior high, and senior high schools in Japan, during the 2019 fiscal year. Within Fukui Prefecture, 61.4% of third-year junior high school (JHS) students had an English proficiency equivalent to “EIKEN Grade 3 or higher” (a 0.2 point increase, from the previous year), and 58.4% of third-year senior high school (SHS) students had an English proficiency equivalent to “EIKEN Pre-Grade 2 or higher” (a 2.4 point increase); by prefecture, the numbers paced Fukui Prefecture in top place for the third year in a row.

The survey was carried out in December 2019, by prefecture and government ordinance city for JHS, and by prefecture for SHS. In addition to looking at English certificates obtained by the students (equivalent to EIKEN Grade 3 for JHS students, and EIKEN Pre-Grade 2 for SHS students), the teachers’ judgement on whether the student “has the equivalent proficiency”, based on the student’s grades, are also taken into account. With the national average of 44.0% of third-year JHS students with such proficiency, and 43.6% for third-year SHS students, Fukui Prefecture surpassed other prefectures under both categories by a large margin.

In Fukui Prefecture, the percentage of English teachers with at least an EIKEN Pre-Grade 1 certification is 59.7% within junior high schools (a 1.0 point increase, from the previous year), and 93.9% within senior high schools (a 2.5 point increase). Compared to the national average of 38.1% among JHS English teachers, and 72.0% among SHS English teachers, Fukui Prefecture also excelled within these categories.

Regarding the verification of the high English proficiency of the students and teachers, the Fukui Prefectural Board of Education provided their analysis, “Along with lessons being conventionally carried out in English, we are maintaining our path along continuous improvement. This is the result of the steady progress by both the students and teachers.”

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1124557

Approving Taking Off Masks While Travelling To and From School on Hot Days

Approving Taking Off Masks While Travelling To and From School on Hot Days

Notice by the Fukui Municipal Board of Education, Heatstroke Countermeasure

By June 8th, every elementary and junior high school in Fukui City received a notice form the Fukui Municipal Board of Education (in Fukui Prefecture) stating that in order to prevent students from getting heatstroke, with the increased risk on days with high temperature and humidity, it has been approved that masks, which has been serving as a preventative tool against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, can be taken off while at school and while travelling to and from school.

According to the Fukui Municipal Board of Education, the Novel Coronavirus Countermeasure City Guidelines was revised on June 5th, after MEXT (the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) indicated in the Hygiene Management Guidelines that masks are okay to be taken off in situations where the risk of heatstroke is high. In cases where masks are taken off, measures including room ventilation and having 1-2 metres of space between the students are asked to be carried out.

In the first version of the guideline, released in February, it was requested that, outside of lunch time, physical education classes, and during club activities, masks are to be continuously worn.

In a city council general interpellation on June 8th, Superintendent of Education Yuuji Yoshikawa expressed, “Because we are approaching the hot season, we are requesting the schools’ consideration,” responding to a question by councillor Ichii Hatta (Isshin Party).

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1101029

Elementary and Junior High Schools Across All Municipalities in Fukui Prefecture, Reopening on June 1st

Elementary and Junior High Schools Across All Municipalities in Fukui Prefecture, Reopening on June 1st

Discussions Regarding Increasing School Attendance Days and School Bus Service

In Fukui Prefecture, on May 18th, regarding school closures affecting elementary and junior high schools, serving as a preventative measure against the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), six municipal education boards (in Sakai City, Awara City, Echizen City, Obama City, Oi Town, and Takahama Town) determined to reopen schools on June 1st. With this, elementary and junior high schools across all 17 municipalities within the prefecture will reopen on June 1st.

For Sakai City, school attendance will only be in the morning of June 1st, and from the 2nd, school lunch service will commence. Increasing the number of school buses, as a means to prevent large groups gathering in small spaces, is under consideration.

For Awara City, school attendance will be increased to 2-3 days in a week, from May 25th. Echizen City is currently considering whether to increase school attendance days during the period until schools reopen. In Obama City, school attendance will increase to 3 days in a week, from May 25th.

In Oi Town, from this week, schools have set up 2 days in a week of attendance until reopening. In Takahama Town, up to this point, schools had students attend on a staggered scheduled once a week; from this week, the schools will be increasing attendance to 2 days in a week.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1088683

School Trips Postponed due to Novel Coronavirus

School Trips Postponed due to Novel Coronavirus

Four School Including Koshi Junior High School, In Response to Increasing Infection

On February 21st, in response to the increasing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infections, four schools, Koshi Junior High School, Fukui University-affiliated Compulsory Education School, Obama Junior High School, and Takahama Junior High School, have decided to postpone their respective school trips, which were scheduled within March. Other elementary, junior high, and senior high schools are currently taking in consideration on whether or not to proceed with plans they have set in, and after, April.

For Koshi Junior High School, the plan was for about 90 second-year students to visit the University of Tokyo and Tokyo Disneyland; there would then be a presentation on the results of their trip, as if to invite other Fukui-born residents to explore beyond the prefecture, and on about what they have learned.

“We considered the merits, as well as the risks, of going on this trip,” said school principal Mitsuhiro Yamakawa, in response to an appeal, made by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, to carefully reconsider the necessity of holding events, in light of the continued increase of infections within the Greater Tokyo Area. The students and guardians were informed of the postponement on February 21st. For how long the trip will be postponed is still undecided.

At the Fukui University-affiliated Compulsory Education School, 103 eighth-year students (equivalent to second-year in junior high school) had planned to visit Tokyo, Yokohama, and Chiba during March 16th to 18th. It is planned for the school trip to be postponed until mid-May; however, depending on the situation of the infection, there is also a possibility for the trip to be pushed as far as the autumn season.

As for Obama Junior High School, their school trip was originally set from March 4th to 6th, while Takahama Junior High School’s trip was set for March 10th to 12th.

According to the Fukui Prefectural Board of Education, along with the four above mentioned schools, there are three other junior high school within the prefecture whose school trips are still scheduled between February 21st and the end of March.

In addition, an international exchange program that plans to sent 27 second-year students, gathered from across five different junior high schools in Sakai City, to Wales in England from March 11th is currently in discussions on whether to continue with the program.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1033926