Civic Responsibility and Education: Hirokami higashi school Case

| December 1, 2008
Author: Chak Sopheap

Following my previous article on “Understanding the Japanese Spirit to Success,” I would like to raise the civic responsibility in Education system in Japan which plays as a central pillar for achieving the JAPAN foundations. This article is reflected from my field trip to visit a primary school, Hirokami higashi school.

Well-designed curriculum: The school has consistent programs that allow the students to learn step by step with a long term visionary. Students are not only learning theoretical parts but know-how lessons including building a small house, taking care animal, planting rice, cooking the rice, and organizing the program for schools. You may wonder why Japan, a leading economy nation, adopts such a program that sounds agricultural and non-business approach to students at the young age (it does not mean that Japan do not train their students to be businessmen, but until they reach colleague or university level).

Through these activities, students are trained to work as a team, to have a strong communication among teachers and students and the public, as well as to understand their individual and social responsibility. If we go deeply to understand their concept, students are instructed to value their surrounding environment: Value the crops that they have spent time to grow so that they will also value the farmers who support their food security; value the environment and animal life (through their warming heart learning the complexity of ecosystem at this young age); and value the community to which they are belonging through their contribution in social projects like raising fund to support rural schools where they have poor infrastructure.

What even striking me the most is that the students learn the peace concept and they are working together to make “With One Hearth, Dreams Come True,” peace project possible. It is one of the best examples for a long-term peace advocacy.

Motivation and parent-school Partnership: School, teachers, and parents play important roles to motivate students to be active and hard-working to achieve their goals. Taking English language learning as example, school have designed programs where student can expose to communicate directly with foreigners, like the filed visit that I was invited is one of the example. Students are encouraged to speak with delegates and their works have been exhibited during the School Festival where parents and public are able to investigate and see how their kids behave and work at school.

Personally, I think these activities are necessary to build a well-cognitive behavior for students and the society need to address the need for such attitudes that can build a better future for the young generation with civic responsibility so that the world can be peaceful and harmonized.

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