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Aichi Pref. to open Japan's 1st public integrated school for truant children

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NAGOYA -- Aichi Prefecture has announced plans to establish Japan's first public integrated junior high and high school catering to children not attending classes, allowing class hours to be reduced.

    Aichi Gov. Hideaki Omura on Nov. 28 announced that integrated junior high and high schools -- which the prefecture is promoting -- will be introduced at Jishukan High School in the city of Toyohashi as well as at Toyota Nishi High School, Nishio and Nisshin prefectural high schools in those respective cities, and Aichi High School of Technology and Engineering in Nagoya's Chikusa Ward. The schools will open in the 2026 academic year.

    Among these institutions, Nisshin will be designated as a special school catering to children not attending classes. It is envisaged as a school that will provide educational support online through the metaverse and with the assistance of virtual reality. The school will decide through interviews and other means whether students can enter without subjecting them to aptitude tests. Forty students will be enrolled in each class, and the school zone will cover the Owari district and the cities of Toyota and Miyoshi. According to the Aichi Prefectural Board of Education, it will be Japan's first integrated junior high and high school catering to truant students.

    At Jishukan, Toyota Nishi and Nishio schools, the junior high schools will have a fixed roll of 80 students in each class, and will decide on admissions via aptitude tests and interviews. At Jishukan and Nishio schools, International Baccalaureate programs giving students the qualifications necessary for acceptance into universities overseas will be introduced.

    Aichi High School of Technology and Engineering, meanwhile, will specialize in artificial intelligence and data science education, and enhance explorative and other types of learning utilizing big data. In addition to the six years of junior high and high school, it has a two-year major course, and it will accordingly aim to train people who can lead the digital transformation through eight years of education. Each class will have a fixed enrollment of 40 students, and the school zone will cover the whole of Aichi Prefecture.

    Additionally, Miwa High School in the city of Ama will be designated as a collaborative integrated junior high and high school that accepts students from multiple junior high schools, as opposed to a school with a single fixed junior high division where six-year education is offered with no new admissions from high school, to promote human resources to support the local region.

    The prefectural government announced in July that Meiwa Senior High School in the city of Nagoya, as well as Tsushima, Handa and Kariya prefectural high schools in those respective cities would open as schools with integrated junior high and high school divisions in the 2025 school year. In the future, it plans to select a school in the Nishimikawa district in central Aichi Prefecture to be same type of integrated junior high and high school, catering to children with foreign roots.

    (Japanese original by Shinichiro Kawase, Nagoya News Center)

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