Peace education workshop for Nakagusuku Village K-12 faculty takes place at war site

Peace education workshop for Nakagusuku Village K-12 faculty takes place at war site

Faculty of Nakagusuku Village enthusiastically listening to Moriyuki Teruya of the Okinawa City Peace Guide Network, taken on August 1 near the Okinawa Shihan Kenji Monument in Mabuni, Itoman.

August 2, 2019 Ryukyu Shimpo
Wakana Arakaki

On August 1, Okinawa Prefecture’s Nakagusuku Village Board of Education (BOE) held a Peace Education Workshop, which was intended for all faculty of public schools K-12 within the village.

While there are municipalities that hold workshops intended for newly appointed teachers and teachers in charge of peace education, it appears that Nakagusuku Village is the first to hold a workshop intended for all faculty.

Following an invitation from the Okinawa City Peace Guide Network, about 120 people gathered to learn the truth about the Battle of Okinawa by visiting the Okinawa Shihan Kenji Monument and the Korean Memorial Monument.

In doing so, they reaffirmed the importance of passing it onto the next generation.

With the number of people who experienced the war diminishing, so do the opportunities to pass on their stories.

This has caused concern among young faculty at schools when covering the topic of peace education. The Nakagusuku Village BOE decided to hold a workshop for the purpose of improving faculty leadership regarding the Battle of Okinawa and to share information amongst the different schools grades.

At the Okinawa Shihan Kenji Monument, 79-year-old Seikou Teruya, who was the guide, introduced the monument with tears in his eyes as he said, “This is the monument dedicated to the people who would have also become faculty like you if they had graduated.”

He also appealed, “It goes without saying that everyone should pass on the tragedies of war, but I would also like everyone to continue to make an effort to teach without becoming overconfident in one’s knowledge.”

Since the faculty learned about the war not just from the standpoint of the victim, but also the perpetrator when visiting the battle sites, visiting the Korean Memorial Monument was also added to the agenda. Elementary school teacher Izumi Teruya, 44, who was also a guide, said, “Kids in the future will have more opportunities to go to foreign countries.

It is very important to teach them things that actually happened.”

Nakagusuku Elementary School teacher Takehito Higa, 40, said, “It was my first time going to many of the places we visited.

There’s a big difference between what we learn via hearsay and what we learn from actually visiting a war site.

I hope to learn about this more and to be able to give a more thorough guidance to the kids.” Nakagusuku Junior High School teacher Ako Yonaha, 46, said, “This reaffirmed my position as a teacher.

I hope to do my best to pass this on so the students can continue to learn.”

(English translation by T&CT and Chelsea Ashimine)

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