The parents and alumni of several high schools located around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have filed a request with the central government, asking them to stop the imminent shutdown of five high schools in the district. The schools are scheduled to be closed down permanently as the number of students has declined rapidly since the 2011 disasters that forced a massive evacuation of residents and the high schools moved to temporary facilities.
Enrollment in the five schools in the Futaba district is down to one-fifth of its original population, with a combined number of 392 students for all the schools. But the chairs of the Parent Teacher Association and the heads of the alumni associations of the schools have sent a request to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, specifically to the chief of the primary and secondary education bureau, Kihei Maekawa. They are suggesting working on the educational recovery plan that was created by the district’s education officials by having discussion session with the national, prefectural and municipal governments as well as the parents and students from the schools. The petition also includes the establishment of the proposed junior-senior high school while incorporating the opinions of students, parents and graduates and trying to preserve the five high schools as well.
The curriculum for the junior-senior high school, which is based on the plan drafted by the district, aims to prepare students for university entrance exams and equip them with the skills to be at par on a global level. The purpose also is to get back the students who have left the prefecture after the 2011 disasters. But the graduates of the five schools that are facing a shutdown believe that the schools should also be allowed to continue because parents also look at the tradition and history of schools before sending them there. The Fukushima Prefectural Board of Education has also received a similar petition from the parents and alumni. An official said they are willing to hold an information session, but their decision cannot be changed by just their opinions alone.
[ via Mainichi ]
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