Shoko’s Story: Putting in More Effort than Everyone Else

Interviewed by Hiroki from You Yu Adelaide Magazine, published in Vol. 54.

We first met Shoko in Vol. 42 (April 2010 edition) of this magazine. At that time she had completed her intensive English course and had just started studying Year 10 at Hallett Cove School, but since then, in addition to her school studies, she spends weekdays after school and weekends at Ittō Cram School studying math and moral studies growing tremendously both academically and mentally, and she topped the class when she graduated from Hallett Cove School last year.

 

 

Dux Award

Although students on the “High School Graduate Program” are international students, they do not get any special treatment; they are taught and graded on a level playing field with local students; not an easy feat for Japanese high school students. “When you say ‘International Study Program’ some people might think that it sounds cool, but if you want to graduate, the strictness is completely different. It was difficult as I really had to apply myself” says Shoko talking of her hard times. “Because of my challenges with English, I had to put in more effort than everyone else. I did everything until I was perfectly satisfied that I’d done it well” she says completing everything with the support of her friends, teachers, host family, and her family back in Japan.

All of the effort she put in led to her being awarded Dux of Hallett Cove School, getting the highest grades from all students, local and international, in her graduating year. Compared with her last interview three years ago, her expressions are far brighter and she is full of confidence, having turned the goals she had of attending ICHM (the International College of Hotel Management) into a reality.

The Support of Ittō Cram School

Itto Cram School and students

Five years ago, Shoko’s elder sister was also awarded Dux of Hallett Cove School for her year. The thing that they both hold in common with their Adelaide life is Ittō Cram School. Ittō Cram School took its name from the saying ‘Ittō shōgū Bantō shōkoku’ which means ‘At first even a small light, like that on a street corner, will grow to become 10, 100, 1000, eventually lighting the whole country’. It has been providing both study and personal support to Japanese international students for over ten years in Adelaide and focuses on teaching math and moral studies. In addition to 3 graduates attaining dux awards, the school is proud of the other awards its graduates have received including 26 highest achiever awards and 9 merit awards. For students who attend the college, it is not just a study school. Despite being so far away from Japan, the students are not alone, pooling together with fellow students and teachers, Ittō Cram School is a source of strength to keep positive and continue putting in the effort.

Itto Cram SchoolThe founders of Ittō Cram School, Minoru Ikeda, who has made education his life work, and his eldest son Yoshifumi, who holds education qualifications both in Japan and Australia, both strongly hold the belief that it is important for students to be self-aware and motivated, thinking for themselves about their goals and dreams and working towards them. “Children who can control themselves in a foreign country away from their parents, and who can motivate themselves in the face of challenges will always grow and move forward. In order to increase that motivation, it is really important for children to teach them about morals”.

Ittō Cram School works to raise its students to be advanced citizens of the world by instilling the notions that Japanese people traditionally consider important and are proud of, gratefulness, modesty, and honesty and balancing this with a strong international point of view.

Read Shoko’s story when she first started in Adelaide!

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ページタイトル: 南オーストラリア州立校の日本人留学生紹介

見出し:人一倍の努力

本誌Vol.42(2010年4月号)でご紹介した原田さん。当時英語集中コースを終えHallett Cove SchoolでYear10を開始したばかりだった原田さんだが、その後学校の勉強に加え、平日の放課後と週末には一燈塾(いっとうじゅく)を訪れて数学と道徳の授業を受けながら学力面、精神面ともに大きく成長し、昨年Hallett Cove Schoolを見事、首席で卒業した。

ダックス賞

“卒業留学”は、留学生とはいえ特別扱いされるわけではなく、現地の生徒と同じ土俵での指導、評価となるため、日本から来た高校生にとっては決して楽なものではない。「“留学”というと格好いいと感じる人もいるかもしれませんが、卒業するとなると厳しさも違います。本当にしっかりやらなくてはいけなかったので大変でした」と原田さんも苦労したという。でも「英語でハンデがある分、人一倍努力しました。やることをきちんと満足いくまでやりました」と、友達や先生、ホストファミリー、日本の家族に支えられながら最後までやり遂げた。

そしてその努力は、現地の生徒および留学生を含めた卒業生全員の中でトップ成績の生徒に与えられるダックス賞獲得という形で実を結んだのだった。3年前の取材時よりも表情が明るく引き締まり、自信にみなぎって見える原田さんは現在、当時目標として語っていたICHM (International College of Hotel Management)への進学を果たしている。

一燈塾の支え

実は原田さんの姉も5年前にHallett Cove Schoolからダックス賞を授与されている。二人のアデレード生活に共通するのは一燈塾の存在。「一燈照隅 万燈照国」(いっとうしょうぐう ばんとうしょうこく:「最初は一隅を照らすような小さな灯火でも、その灯火が十、百、万となれば、国中をも明るく照らすことになる」の意)にちなんで名づけられた一燈塾はアデレードで10年に渡り日本人留学生を勉強面、精神面でサポートしている。一燈塾ではこれまで延べ3人のダックス賞のほか、26人の最優秀教科賞、9人のメリット賞など様々な受賞者を輩出しているが、一燈塾で教えているのは基本的に数学と道徳。生徒にとっては単なる勉強の塾としてではなく、日本から遠く離れた地でも一人ではなく仲間や先生と心を通わせ、前向きに着実に努力していく力の源となっている。

一燈塾の創設者でライフワークとして教育と向かい合う池田實(みのる)さん、長男で日本、オーストラリアそれぞれの教員資格を持つ佳史(よしふみ)さんが強調するのは、生徒が自覚と意欲を持って目標や夢について自ら考えて行動することの大切さ。「親のいない外国でも自己規制ができ、『頑張ろう』というモチベーションを自ら持てる子どもは必ず伸びます。その意欲を高めるためにも道徳的な教えは子どもたちにとって大変重要なのです」。

一燈塾は、感謝の気持ちや謙虚さ、誠実さを大切にする日本人の心や誇りと国際的な視野をバランス良く兼ね備えた国際人を育てている。

アデレードに着いたところの原田さんの物語をこちらで読んでください!

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