Students from Hiroshima Jogakuin High School serve as guides in English to overseas visitors

by Kyoko Niiyama, Staff Writer

Hiroshima Jogakuin High School is a school in the heart of Hiroshima which seeks to nurture its students to become global citizens who can express their thoughts in English and make direct appeals for the importance of peace. On July 11, a group of six first-year and second-year students paid a visit to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park to serve as guides for four international students from the United States and South Korea and explain in English about the A-bomb memorials found there.

The Hiroshima students led a tour of about one hour, which took them to such sites as the Children’s Peace Monument. Among the information they shared, they related the background behind why each memorial was raised and the horrific state of Hiroshima in the aftermath of the atomic bombing, things they had learned from A-bomb survivors.

For Naomi McCauley, 16, a second-year student, it was the fifth time she served as a guide. “It’s a great opportunity to make use of the English we learn at school to tell others about the damage caused by the atomic bombing,” she said. In August, Ms. McCauley will begin attending a high school in the United States. She plans to be proactive in conveying the devastation of the atomic bombing to her classmates there.

Alaisa Cowherd, 16, an international student from the United States, said that she was impressed with how the students from Hiroshima sought their opinions, asking, for example, her personal thoughts about the bombing.

In April, Hiroshima Jogakuin High School established a committee, comprised of faculty members, to review its efforts in global education. The school is encouraging students to take part in exchange activities with international students and spend time studying abroad so they can gain a wider perspective on the world. Principal Haruo Hoshino, 61, said, “We would like more of our students to be able to appeal internationally for the importance of peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons by actively making use of networks of people overseas.”

(Originally published on July 15, 2013)