JICC Director Visits Young Achievers International School, Incorporated (YAIS)
Late September, Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC) Director Tomoko Dodo, along with Nihongo Center Foundation (NCF) Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Principal, Ms. Beatriz Mojica, visited Young Achievers International School, Inc. (YAIS) to observe the Nihongo classes for both elementary and high school students. The guests were treated to a warm welcome through a special program conducted by the school community.
Then Director Dodo paid another visit on October 28, 2010 to participate in the school’s 17 th Foundation Day Celebration, which included intermission numbers featuring a Japanese dance and a Japanese song number which were performed by a group of students and their Japanese language teachers.
YAIS, a private non-sectarian school in Las Piñas, introduced and implemented compulsory Japanese language education to its curriculum for elementary and high school students in 2008. Since then, 279 students from grades five and six in the elementary level and all levels in high school have been enjoying the 30-minute Nihongo lessons conducted twice a week by teachers from NCF. Ms. Edna Ocampo, YAIS founding directress, shares that she was inspired to incorporate Japanese language education while observing Japanese schools and exchanging ideas with her Japanese counterparts during her 12-day visit to Japan under “The University of the Philippines Japanese Language and Culture Experience Program” in 2004, annually organized by Dr. Amelia Fajardo, a former Japanese Government Scholar and current faculty member of the University of the Philippines Diliman College of Education.
Through the integration of Japanese language education in the school’s curriculum, students and teachers alike have the opportunity to learn not only the rudiments of basic Japanese grammar but also about the Japanese culture as well. The school has future plans of expanding Japanese language education to other grade levels in elementary.
Directress Ocampo said that the students have become even more enthusiastic about learning Nihongo after the first visit by Director Dodo and were very excited to show their performance of the Japanese number welcoming her the second time to their campus. Parents and teachers were also grateful for the support by the Japanese Embassy.
Director Dodo in her closing remarks at the event expressed her appreciation for the internationally colorful presentations by students and commended the continuing efforts of YAIS in promoting cultural awareness and mutual understanding between our two countries through its Japanese language education in the school’s curriculum.