Tokyo University students teach on a summer intensive course on Iheya Island
July 16, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo
From August 11 to 18, Iheya Village is scheduled to hold a summer intensive course entitled “Tokyo University Cram School on Iheya,” in which University of Tokyo students are invited to teach junior high school students on Iheya Island. The project aims to improve the academic standards of children on the island, and to promote exchange with other junior high school students outside of the island. In addition to the study sessions, the course includes an experiential learning program unique to the island. The village also invites children from outside the island to participate in the course.
For the last two years the village has held these courses, using part of revenue to develop the area in a manner that takes advantage of materials unique to the island. This year they have also advertised for participants from outside of the island.
The course needs a minimum of ten students enrolled in order to run. Each pays a total of 50000 yen, which includes the cost of accommodation, boat fares and meals. The students will study in the intensive course in the morning, and join the experiential learning program in the afternoon. The participants will stay at the local community center. Some of them will homestay with local residents.
Four freshman and sophomore students from the School of Liberal Arts at the University of Tokyo will visit the island. All of nine local third graders, as well as the first and second graders who are interested in the course will participate in the course.
Takenori Naka, a senior staff member of the General Coordination Division of the village office, said, “Even though we managed to improve pupils’ motivation to study last year, we have not provided them with many opportunities to exchange with other children from outside of the island. When children turn 15 years old, they leave the island to further their education. I think it is important for them to have opportunities to meet other children from outside of the island because they need to have a clear idea of what leaving the island means.”
Osamu Ishihara, executive head of the Consumer Co-operative Okinawa, which supports the project, said, “I was involved in the Development Committee of the Village Comprehensive Plan. I sense the village mayor’s enthusiasm for this project.”
In the national competition for regional contribution by cooperative corporations, Consumer Co-operative Okinawa won the top award for an economic development project to solve problems of local communities through production for local consumption. The village runs the summer intensive course as part of this award-winning project.
The application deadline for the course is July 20. For further details and application, call the Commerce and Tourism Division of Iheya Village Office at 098 (046) 2177.
(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey）
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