Students at ISAK received a VIP visit last Friday when Japan’s First Lady, Ms. Akie Abe, toured the campus and sat in on a history lesson. Ms. Abe was accompanied by our school founder, Lin Kobayashi.
First Lady Abe’s visit to ISAK supports the current administration’s interest in new ideas for education. Because ISAK is the only fully-residential boarding high school in Japan, the student body is unique. Our students home countries include the Philippines, India, Nepal, Vietnam, Singapore, China, Malaysia, the United States, Spain, Somalia and Tajikistan. In Japan, where only 1.5% of the population are foreigners, this type of diversity is highly unusual, and it can make learning more meaningful.
According to Ms. Kobayashi, “Understanding different backgrounds, religions and cultures is not something that one can comprehend just by reading a book. The value of what students can learn and gain from each other during these sensitive teenage years in enormous.”
After touring the classrooms and student residences, Ms. Abe visited our History class where a lively conversation about the Meiji era was underway:
“Why did this historical event occur?”
“What else was occurring in the region at the time?”
“How do we define ‘power’?”
Prompted by the teacher’s questions, students in the class led an engaging discussion. Whenever the rest of the class seemed unconvinced about an idea, students in the discussion were encouraged not to give up, and try to further enlighten their peers. Seeing this, Ms. Akie Abe commented, “I was astonished to see that students are encouraged to think at such depth on a daily basis. This must make a tremendous difference in what students learn in classes.”
We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Ms. Abe for making the time to visit ISAK.