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Award-winning graphs designed by east Japan students seemingly dumped by mistake

TORIDE, Ibaraki -- A total of 11 sheets of paper containing prizewinning statistical graph designs drawn by elementary and junior high school students in this eastern Japan city may have been thrown away by mistake, the municipal government announced on Feb. 17.

According to the city's board of education, it has lost the 11 works submitted as part of an annual statistical graph contest organized by the prefectural government, in which school-age students design a full sheet of graphs and charts, often with accompanying illustrations, on a subject relevant to society or daily life. The best entrants are subsequently nominated for a national competition.

It is believed that the corrugated box containing the designs, which was being kept in a teachers' room in the municipal Nagayama Elementary School, was handed over in error to a recycle company worker. It is possible the box was assumed to be full of recyclable garbage.

The 11 works were supposed to be on show at an exhibition from Jan. 30 to Feb. 16. The school apologized to the students' guardians. But, the board of education avoided disclosing the reported loss for over a month, despite the first notification the papers were missing coming on Jan. 9.

According to the board of education and the school, the designs were by students at seven municipal elementary and junior high schools. The winners were decided by a jury at the prefectural government, and the corrugated box containing the 11 B2-size pieces of paper with the entries on them were sent to Nagayama Elementary School from prefectural headquarters in October 2019.

(Japanese original by Shinichi Anmi, Toride Local Bureau)

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