School Closures for January 13th Across Various Municipalities

School Closures for January 13th Across Various Municipalities

8 Municipalities Including Fukui, Sakai, and Sabae cities

Due to the recent heavy snowfall, eight municipalities within Fukui Prefecture’s Reihoku region have announced temporary closures of some or all its elementary and junior high schools for January 13th. The municipalities are Fukui City, Awara City, Sakai City, Ono City, Katsuyama City, Eiheiji Town, Sabae City, and Echizen Town.
The status of schools within each municipality are as follow:

Fukui City:
All kindergarten, elementary, and junior high schools to be closed.
After-school children clubs and after-school children meets to be suspended.

Awara City:
All elementary and junior high schools to be closed.

Sakai City:
All elementary and junior high schools to be closed.
All children’s centres to be closed.

Ono City:
All elementary and junior high schools to be closed.
Families already registered with an after-school children clubs, that are unable to take in the children, can refer to the operating special children clubs in the western, northern, and Izumi districts of the city.
Families who normally utilize the children clubs within the southern district of the city can refer towards the western district, while those that utilize the children clubs within the eastern district can refer towards the northern district.
Five children centres within the city are to be closed.

Katsuyama City:
All elementary and junior high schools to be closed.
Kindergartens are closed until the 15th.
Children centres have suspended reception on the 12th and 13th, but child-care support centres will be open during those days.

Eiheiji Town:
All elementary and junior high schools to be closed.
All kindergartens and child-care centres are open from the 12th.
After-school children clubs, children centres, ad child-care support centres to be closed until the 13th.

Sabae City:
All elementary and junior high schools to be closed.
Municipal kindergartens also to be closed.

Echizen City:
All elementary, junior high school, and kindergartens to be closed.

Echizen Town:
All elementary and junior high schools to be closed.

Minamiechizen Town:
Schools to be open.

Ikeda Town:
Schools to be open.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1240878

Fukui Prefecture, 40 Centimetres of Snowfall by Evening of January 8th

Fukui Prefecture, 40 Centimetres of Snowfall by Evening of January 8th

Fukui Local Meteorological Office Report, Possible Alert Through the 10th

Within Fukui Prefecture, particularly within the mountainous areas, there is a possibility of heavy snowfall during January 7th through the 10th. The Fukui Local Meteorological Office advises caution of snowstorms and heavy seas from the evening of the 7th, and unsafe driving conditions.

According to the Fukui Local Meteorological Office, the rapidly developing low-pressure system will continue towards north Japan from January 7th, predicting the winter pressure pattern to grow stronger through until the 9th. A heavy snowfall alert is possible.

In a 24-hour snowfall forecast, there will be heavy snowfall by 6:00 p.m. on January 7th, with Okuetsu accumulating 30 centimetres, and the level ground areas of Reihoku and eastern Reinan accumulating 10 centimetres, with the mountainous areas accumulating 30 centimetres. The level ground areas of western Reinan is predicted to accumulate 2 centimetres, while the mountainous areas to accumulate 10 centimetres. A 24-hour forecast until 6:00 p.m. of the 8th reported level ground areas to accumulate 20~40 centimetres of snow, and the mountainous areas to accumulate 60~80 centimetres.

On January 7th, Sakai City has all its elementary schools end school earlier, and all its junior high schools to suspend club activities. Within Fukui City, multiple junior high schools have also suspended club activities until the 8th.

JR West Kanazawa Branch has suspended a number of Limited Express trains, as well as some regular trains, along the Hokuriku line throughout January 7th. Furthermore, the Keifuku Bus Company has suspended the Ichijodani Asakura Limited Express Bus service, and all highway buses along the Kyoto-Osaka line until the 8th. Operation has also been suspended for all Keifuku Limousine Bus lines for the 7th.

On January 6th, the Kinki Regional Development Bureau reported that due to snow removal operations, there is a possibility for intermittent road closures within 6 areas along National Route 8, between Awara City-Ushinoya and Sakai City-Maruokacho Hasaki. There will be instances where parts of the Hokuriku Expressway will be enforcing tire chain regulations.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1237499

New ALTs Unable to Arrive, Influence on English Classes

New ALTs Unable to Arrive, Influence on English Classes

Fukui Prefecture, Regarding 30 Expected ALTs in September

On September 23rd, regarding Assistant Language Teachers (ALT) who are stationed across junior and senior high schools across Fukui Prefecture, Superintendent of Education Kinichi Toyokita disclosed, in a prefectural assembly for the general education standing committee, that 30 new ALTs expected to arrive in September were unable to come to Japan due to the effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

According to the Fukui Prefectural Board of Education (BoE), there were 106 ALTs across 74 public municipal junior high schools and 26 prefectural schools, within the prefecture. From August, ALTs work on a yearly contract, which can be extend to up to 5 years. This year, in relation to the anticipated Tokyo Olympic Games, the ALT contract start period was changed to the end of August.

Due to the restrictions on emigration and immigration, in response to the continuous spread of COVID-19 across the world, the 30 new ALTs expected to arrive this year were unable to come to Japan. During the end of July, the Prefectural BoE sent a notification to every school expressing “We are currently in a difficult state of affairs”, requesting to take on a flexible stance.

In a normal year, 1st and 2nd year junior high school students receive 1.5 hours of class time with an ALT per week, while 3rd year students receive 1 hour per week. Among the 76 ALTs whose contracts were renewed under the Prefectural BoE, schools have been managing with various measures, including having ALTs visit additional schools.

Superintendent Toyokita emphasized, “We will strive to secure education opportunities through measures including the use of those registered within the English Resource Bank (a registry of prefectural residents who are proficient in English).”

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1170621

Bus Routes Operated by Keifuku Bus Driver Infected with COVID-19

Bus Routes Operated by Keifuku Bus Driver Infected with COVID-19

July 17th Report, Experienced Fatigue on the 11th

On July 17th, it was reported that a male bus driver working for the Keifuku Bus company was confirmed with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection; on July 11th, the man experienced fatigue, followed by a fever on the evening of the 13th. He had visited a medical institution for an examination on the 13th, but received a diagnosis that stated no particular abnormalities. After some time, his body temperature had returned to normal levels; however, on July 16th, he underwent a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which showed positive for COVID-19 on the morning of the 17th.

In addition to the school bus (servicing Takaboko Elementary School in Sakai City), the bus driver had operated several other route buses. The route buses he had operated during July 9th through July 12th are as follows:

  • Kawanishi-Mikuni line (川西三国線)
  • Gakuen line (学園線)
  • Echizen Kaigan BLUE LINE (越前海岸ブルーライン)
  • Owada-Maruoka line (大和田丸岡線)
  • Shimizu GREEN LINE (清水グリーンライン)
  • Undo Koen line (towards Michimori); (運動公園線 [道守先])
  • Maruoka line (丸岡線)
  • Jingaoka line (陣ケ岡線)
  • Kanazu-Honjo line (金津本荘線)
  • Uzura-Mikuni line (鶉三国線)
  • Prefectural Hospital-Maruoka line (県立病院丸岡線)

The Keifuku Bus company provided the details in a press conference at the Fukui Prefectural Office on July 17th.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1125922

Second Wave of COVID-19, Decision to be Made for Each Individual School Regarding Closures

Second Wave of COVID-19, Decision to be Made for Each Individual School Regarding Closures

Prefectural Governor’s Intention Regarding COVID-19

On July 8th, in a prefectural assembly for the budget reporting special committee, regarding school closures within Fukui Prefecture in the case of a second wave of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, Fukui Prefectural Governor Tatsuji Sugimoto stated, “A decision will be made for each individual school,” expressing the intent of not implementing a comprehensive school closure; the statement was in response to committee member Keiichi Nishimoto (Komeito).

Prefectural Governor Sugimoto stressed, “We were in a situation involved with an unknown virus (in March), and with the mindset of putting the children’s safety first, a decision was made to close down all schools within the prefecture.” With the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 in mind, Governor Sugimoto continued, “It is impractical to simultaneously suspend all schools. But because of the open issue of whether or not it is necessary to go that far, a decision will be made for each individual school.”

From March 2nd, upon Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s request to suspend schools across Japan, schools temporarily closed down, one after the other. From May 7th, staggered school attendance schedules were set up, dividing students by their area of residence, school year, or class. From May 11th, making use of the internet, home lessons were carried out. After about three months of the school closures, schools began reopening from June 1st.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1121350