Computers arrive in the schoolhouse!
This is Minato Daini Junior School, within Ishinomaki’s Kaihoku Junior School. Specifically, this is the prefabricated schoolhouse for Minato Daini Junior School, set up within the grounds of the Kaihoku Junior School because the original disaster-hit buildings are unusable.
Minato Daini Junior School was originally in the Daimoncho area of Ishinomaki, about 1km from the sea.
During the disaster, the tsunami reached the second floor of the three-storey building, and didn’t recede for two hours. Because the school location is now within a restricted-construction area, there was no choice but to abandon the idea of resuming classes on the original site.
The temporary prefab buildings were set up in the grounds of Kaihoku Junior School, and lessons started there on October 1. However, there were none of the facilities enjoyed by the students as before such as the art and crafts room, music room, or school broadcasting room. There were also no computers for students’ research or lesson purposes.
A message came to Peace Boat’s Disaster Relief Volunteer Centre that Minato Daini Junior School was seeking child-oriented PCs. We turned to PAL System Cooperative Association, who were already involved with the activities in Ishinomaki. We have nothing but gratitude for the warm cooperation they gave us.
The school asked for 13 computers to fulfil the needs of their students. On March 1, after visits by an equipment contractor and representatives from the city office’s education department – and although in a makeshift setting of tables lined up in a corner of the library – the equipment installation was successfully completed.
The children immediately get to work on their research assignment. Minato Daini Junior School’s head teacher Mr Sato was visibly happy, saying “We have no idea how long we’re going to be using these temporary buildings, but thanks to everyone’s support we’re gradually restoring more and more of the feel of a real school. From now on we can restart lessons that depend on computers.”
For the people of Ishinomaki and other affected areas, since March 11 of last year it has felt so many times like a nightmare.
Since that day, the kids’ surrounding environment has been turned upside down. Even so, these same children are now playing, studying, and living out each day.
Peace Boat is dedicated to continuing to support the development of these children, in whose future also lies the future of Ishinomaki.