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HOME > Emergency message from PIC president 2020 June

Emergency message from PIC president 2020 June

Emergency message from PIC president 2020 June

 When an unpredictable natural disaster or a pandemic outbreak occurs, what should we do? We have been asked this kind of question many times. COVID-19 has been changing everything about life, including students learning environments, as we knew it. In the face of this unfolding crisis, is our society succeeded on supporting sufficiently children daily life? On behalf of all PIC teachers, instructors, and staff, I would like to let you know our thought as to what should be done.
 In recent months, we have frequently heard the next brave slogan that you should not stop learning, ”Manabiwo yamenai”, or that you must remember that Fukuzawa and his students kept learning even in the battle nearby. However, you have few ways to practice this, because many schools had immediately ceased teaching long before students gave up studying. I undergo a strange sensation as if I witness a commander who deserted from in the face of enemy order soldiers to keep fighting on the front. Thus, some schools unconsciously lose the raison d'etre, some schools attempt to be schools amid the chaos of the pandemic. Ironically speaking, that was a good opportunity to distinguish a real educational institute from school-like institute which only sends homework capriciously.
 I regret to say that we virtually abandoned most of our duties to guarantee opportunities for young generation to have enough education, and furthermore wasted precious three months making excuses to prepare to provide a remote learning system which enables students to receive a lesson at home as if having been present to the school. On the other hand, it is reported that China developed 22 new remote learning system platforms and thereby 226 million students shifted from schooling to online lessons all at once three months ago. Even now, many schools in Tokyo stop both some part of schooling and learning, and stand still. This is a sad reality of an advanced nation in East Asia.
 In order to break this deadlock, though maintenance of learning environment is a social and collective responsibility, it does require each action. Individual preparedness is the first step in creating a resilient learning environment. Therefore, we strongly hope that each of us sincerely do what we can as follows.
 Firstly, students should always study based on authorized textbooks and standard workbooks at home. Unfortunately, in most cases, teacher improvised handouts and videos are just only a summary of textbooks with only a handful of exceptions, and sometimes deteriorated edition of textbooks. Textbooks clearly show that collective intelligence is superior to individual one. If you would like to learn mathematics or science systematically, they are not suitable as substitute of textbooks. You need to open the textbooks lined up around you.
 Secondly, teachers, including us, should provide a remote learning platform and a remote learning method allowing a teacher to comprehend conditions of a learner in real time. On this point, our achievement is not sufficient. Teachers and instructors in not only high schools but also PIC are required to make further efforts.
 Thirdly, parents and guardians should not be concerned about student learning and homework too much even when you have enough time. If you want your sons and daughters to study more diligently and more earnestly and to be excellent students, you do not have to help with their home assignment. As long as you continue studying or learning something enthusiastically, they also keep learning beside you, as old proverb says that he who first suggests it should be the first to do it, that is to say,“ Kai-yori hazimeyo”. It is no doubt that your active support often makes students look slightly smarter than what they are. However, at the same time you may spoil something important, such as their autonomy or positiveness.

 To conclude my statement, I think you should know that we are inspired by the resilient determination of many Keio students to continue learning. Moreover, we know you have all worked hard to adjust to remote instruction and to capitalize on new ways of learning. We genuinely wish that autonomous learning has you grow up to be independent person in the social upheaval. Let's move forward together.

June, 2020  PIC president and chief instructor

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