Providing education is not a business at India International School in Japan

This is the second post about India International School in Japan (IISJ) in this blog. The first post was before more than two and a half years after a visit to the school when my elder daughter joined the kindergarten. Now the reason behind this post is the queries raised by some of the visitors to this blog through blog comments and personal e-mails.

I have received both good and bad comments about the school. Some commentators were rude to scold me for writing good things about the school. In that post I tried to see the good things of the school. I don’t really want to reply to those negative comments received earlier since reply to a negative thing will also be a negative thing.

One thing we need to realize is the availability of such a facility in a far away land for Indian children. The approximate number of Indians in Japan may come around 27,000. Most of them are bachelors. Those with children were facing problem due to lack of schools based on Indian syllabus. Most of the Indian professionals stay in Japan for a shorter period and they need to return to the country. Continuing education in India, once they return back was solved by the presence of Indian schools in Tokyo. Indians living in other parts of Japan does not have this opportunity.

Before the earthquake on March there were approximately 500 students in IISJ. Some of the Indians opted to go from Japan after the earthquake and nuclear disaster. Many Indians sent their children back to India.

There were very few students when I visited the school on April last week. That was the time when most of the Indians went back to their country after the disastrous quake and tsunami hit the eastern regions of Japan. Some of the parents were skeptic about the strength of the school building. There were rumors that the fifth floor of the school building was damaged in the earthquake. That was really a negative rumor aimed at creating panic among parents purposely spread by some miscreants. In reality there is no fifth floor for the school !

The city authorities did a check for the safety of the school building and allowed the management to reopen. Safety checks are strictly followed in Japan. The school is back to the normal and many new students were also joined. All the school events were held as usual and the winter concert is scheduled on 10th December.

The school buses are available to many routes, which is convenient for students and parents. Classrooms have heating system now. Things are getting better day by day. Management has initiated to conduct periodic radiation measurements at the school premises with the help of EcoCycle Corporation, a Japanese company involved in investigation and cleaning of soil and groundwater contaminated with toxic chemicals throughout Japan and other Asian countries. These periodic monitoring helps to alleviate concerns of parents. Recently the school has received the IB candidate school status and the IB courses will be available from 2013. Improvement does not happen all of a sudden. It comes gradually with consistent and conscious effort.

In this modern age, providing education might have turned in to a profitable business, but during the past some years of interaction with the school management I have not sensed such an attitude.

We need to learn to see positive aspect of anything rather than focusing on negative aspects. There may be hundreds of negative things about anything in the world. Looking in to the positive aspects and finding ways to improve is the key to the growth and success. It needs strong will power and determination and hope the school management has enough of both.

Author: Jayaprakash

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