By: Chak Sopheap
Reflecting from my field trip to visit an Elementary School, Higashi Ojiya School, in Ojiya City located between Urasa and Nagaoka, I would like to continually share the civic responsibility in education system in Japan which plays as a central pillar for achieving the Japanese foundations:
Strengthen Leadership and Cooperation among kids: It was reflected from the Peace Kids Halloween Party, where kids were formed as group of three or four members, in halloween dress, to knock on invited delegates’ room (including I myself who was invited to be the guest teacher). The purpose is to instruct kids to know how to work as team, find strategy to request for candy, then know the social morality (by thank to those who gave them candy). This party somehow is organized to introduce kids different cultural events, like Halloween for example. Interestingly, the school attempts to incorporate this cultural diversity in an amusing way to teach kids the peace and morality.
Introduce Cultural Diversity: during the visit, each delegates coming form different countries were asked to introduce briefly about their own countries. This way, the kids, could know different geography and cultural diversity. At first glance, we may think that this introduction will help kids to know different countries‘ characteristic or at least they will remember the name, flag, or some important tourists spots of those countries. Deeply thinking, this kind of incorporation is to help kids to realize how diverse culture exits in comparing to their own culture. Through this, kids are introduced a peace concept, viewing the world in relativism. Personally, i believe that the more we share and understand one another historical, social, cultural perspective, the more we are able to bridge the gap of misunderstanding and build a better and more tolerant global society.
Leave comfort zone and interact with strangers: This is another important strategy to expose kids to foreigners, or simply strangers who they never know before. Kids were arranged to have lunch with each delegates, while usually they have lunch only with their own classmates. At lunch table, kids were so active for not just having lunch, but they kept asking delegates or talking among their friends, as well as, answering some questions from delegates. This interaction helps kids to improve their communication and socialization skill.
In nutshell, I think these activities are necessary to build a well-cognitive behavior for kids and the society need to address the need for such attitudes that can build a better future for the young generation with morality and civic responsibility so that the world can be peaceful and harmonized.