Elementary and Junior High Schools in Fukui City, School Attendance and Club Activities Postponed Further

Elementary and Junior High Schools in Fukui City, School Attendance and Club Activities Postponed Further

Upon Confirmation of Infection Case, Postponed Until At Least April 2nd

On March 19th, upon the confirmation of a person infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) within Fukui Prefecture’s Fukui City, the Fukui City Board of Education sent a notice to all elementary and junior high schools in the city, in which the resumption of school attendance and club activities is to be further postponed until at least April 2nd.

On March 11th, the municipal board of education had sent out a notice stating, from March 25th, when the school closures were to end upon entering the spring break, principals were given the freedom to resume attendance and club activities at their discretion, for their respective schools. Up until the 18th, nineteen elementary schools and twenty-four junior high schools had planned to resume attendance. As for April 2nd and onward, decisions will be based on the situation during that time.

During the early morning of March 19th, at the Fukui City Hall, Fukui City Mayor Shin’ichi Higashimura addressed the press corp, emphasizing that everything will be done to prevent the spread of the virus, and requesting the public to “remain composed, just as we have been doing so up to now.”

In April 2019, Fukui City transitioned into a core city, and transferred the management of its health care centre from prefectural to municipal, thus bearing the responsibility of infection control measures within the city. City Mayor Higashiyama expressed that “identifying the infection route is a major task” and will proceed in cooperation with the prefecture.

According to Kenji Goto, chief of the Fukui City Health Care Centre, the infected male company official did not have interactions with a large number of people, and had wore a mask while commuting and during his visit at a medical institution stating, “At present, the possibility of further infection is low.”

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1051129

Request by the Prime Minister, Temporary Closure of Schools across Japan

Request by the Prime Minister, Temporary Closure of Schools across Japan

On February 27th, at the Novel Coronavirus Infection Control Headquarters, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced an appeal for the temporary closure of elementary, junior high, and senior high schools.

The closure is to be implemented from March 2nd and to continue through the spring break.

Regarding entrance examinations and graduation ceremonies, preventative measures against infection are insisted.

Source: https://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXMZO56131560X20C20A2MM8000/

A Swing From the World’s Best Swordswoman, So Fast!

A Swing From the World’s Best Swordswoman, So Fast!

Kendo: 5-dan Tai Watanabe Teaching a Children’s Class

On January 11th, Tai Watanabe (aged 27), a Kumamoto Prefecture police officer and member of a champion women’s team in the World Kendo Championship, worked as an instructor in a top-athlete kendo class held in the Echizen City Budokan, located within Fukui Prefecture. Part of the event were approximately 120 elementary and junior high school students from within the city; the children were full of energy, with powerful shouts as they swing their bamboo swords, diligently trying to learn from a first-class swordswoman.

Every year, the Echizen City Kendo Federation invites Japan’s top athletes for this event, so children can learn the basics directly from the athletes, nurturing their dreams.

Hailing from Kumamoto Prefecture, 5-dan Watanabe is part of the team representing Japan in the World Kendo Championships, with successive victories in 2015 and 2018. Dominating in last year’s All Japan Police Kendo Championship, in the Women’s Singles division, there are high expectations as a core representative of Japan for next year’s World Kendo Championship in France.

In the morning, about 50 elementary school children, coming from 8 youth sports clubs within the city, received thorough instructions on the basics, including practice-swinging and footwork.

“Create an image of your opponent, even when practice-swinging. After swinging down your sword, stay focused until you return to your starting position!”

The children received many such instruction, as could understand the importance of taking practice as seriously as an actual match.

During the afternoon, junior high school students crossed bamboo swords, learning about the practical use of various techniques.

“Actually seeing the speed when she swings her sword was really something1 The way she moved her arms and wrists were very clean,” said a sixth-year elementary school girl, who is part of the Oshio Youth Sports club, talking about her impression of the top athlete’s techniques.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1008506

Introducing a Consulting Service Site to Overcome Truancy

Introducing a Consulting Service Site to Overcome Truancy

Support for Elementary, Middle, and High School Students, by Fukui Prefecture

Fukui Prefecture has launched the “Fukui Prefecture Hikikomori and Truancy Support and Information” website, which is geared towards hikikomori (a person suffering from social withdrawal), truant students, and concerned family members; the site consolidates all relevant information regarding the various issues. Each city and town started up its designated consulting service counter, for those struggling to establish a place for family gathering or where one can feel at home; visitors can find a catalog of recent news and contact information for public and private support groups. Associates with the services are eagerly standing by to connect with anyone looking for advice.

According to an investigation result published by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) on October 17, the number of truant students in public elementary, junior high, and senior high schools in the prefecture, during 2018, totalled to 1,054 students. According to the national survey, there was an estimated total of one million hikikomori, with ages ranging between 15 and 64. In the Fukui Prefecture Hikikomori Regional Center (located in Fukui City), within one year, there have been over one thousand cases that received consultation services.

The support groups in each are of the prefecture set up a system to inform concerned persons and families, on the steps of how to reconnect with society. In conjunction with the establishment of the consultation service website, each city and town’s health and welfare bureau will be designated for the services. Including prefectural institutions, a total of 34 places are listed on the site. Details and contact information of 13 public and private support groups, such as nonprofit organizations (NPO) who open their free space for family gatherings or a personal safe space, and alternative schools, are gathered and displayed on the site. Information on various events and lectures within the prefecture are also listed and updated as needed.

A Fukui Prefecture Disability and Social Welfare department secretary managing the site, Shigehiro Kato, explained the current situation, “There are many cases where those afflicted and concerned family members are heavily burdened with anxiety for many years, unable to confide their troubles with anyone.” Up to now, many are unaware of the consultation services, with many afflicted people and families often saying something like, “I wish I had used these services sooner.” Secretary Kato said, “Taking advice from an outside party also means they are taking steps towards improvement. I wish more people to visit the site, join the various events, and reach out to connect for advice.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/968158