Myanmar’s five high school students, accompanied by one lecturer, have arrived in Japan today (January 17), invited by SEISA Group’s Kokusai Gakuen Education Institute and Foundation of Global Children (FGC) !
This program is a part of activities which have been conducted for many years under the initiative of Yasuo MIYAZAWA, CEO of SEISA Group, in order to assist Myanmar in training young generations and also in establishing/improving an educational system suitable for it. Needless to say, it has been materialized in close cooperation with Myanmar’s Government and people.
The students were selected by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) from Government Technical High Schools throughout the country. During the stay until January 29, they will attend lectures at Hiratsuka High School of Science & Technology and also visit some companies to see state-of-the-art production facilities and technologies. Some free times will also be included to learn the Japanese culture and society.
We are confident what the students will experience in Japan will be informative and instructive for their future, and hope it will lead to further strengthening cooperation between Myanmar and Japan as well as between Myanmar and SEISA Group through MoST.
2nd Day of Japan Study Program - January 18
Myanmar's students have surprisingly been welcomed by the snow in the 1st morning at SEISA Dormitory. It is the first time that they have seen the snow. Although it has snowed for very short time, it will be an unforgettable memory of Japan and the study program for them.
In the morning, they have studied the schedule of the entire program and have also made some preparations for events with SEISA students including self-introduction.
In the afternoon, they have moved to SEISA Oiso Campus and have seen its facilities, followed by the pre-study of the companies they will visit during the stay in Japan. In between they have also taken a short walk to a park with a small local history museum, and have written down there their wishes on wooden plates with a picture of Horse (since 2014 is the Year of Horse) and have put them on the wall as Japanese visitors do. Through it they have touched a little bit Japanese culture, too.
3rd Day of Japan Study Program - January 19
Contrary to the 2nd day, Myanmar's students have been welcomed by a very nice weather. Because it is Sunday, they have spent relatively relaxed time.
They have visited one of SEISA Group's school facilities, "Mikan Yama" (Hillof Mandarin Oranges), since it is a very nice view spot for Mt. Fuji, and have taken some pictures.
They have also been given a chance to phone their families, and then went to a shopping center to buy school shoes suitable for their foot size. In the evening, they have gone down to a beach close to SEISA Oiso Campus, enjoying a walk on the shore where waves come and go (although some have had wet feet due tounexpectedly rushing waves).
4th Day of Japan Study Program – January 20
Myanmar’s students attend lectures at Hiratsuka High School of Science & Technology (HHSST, about 45 minutes drive from SEISA Dormitory) for 3 days commencing today.
Joining a class of the 3rd grade, they have today learned English, Mathematic, Physics, and Chimistry, and have also seen Japanese students' club activities. In addition, they have experienced a practical course, too, in which they have made an ABS-resin sphere by using the injection molding machine HHSST school has in possession.
All the students of HHSST are very friendly, and have warmly welcomed the foreign students from Myanmar.
Their comments on the 1st day at HHSST are: “We have been impressed with the well-equipped facilities and advanced lectures, but what has given us a stronger impression is that teachers and students seem to be happy in class, frankly communicating each other”.
6th Day of Japan Study Program - January 23
The 3-days program at Hiratsuka High School of Science & Technology has come to the end today. It has passed very quickly for Myanmar's students, but with fruitful results and good memories !
The lectures they have attended today are English, Japanese History and Mathematic. In addition, we have made challenges, too; i.e. play table tennis in Physical Education, and make a kitchen timer and do programing in “C” language in Practical Training.
After the above, a farewell event has been held by HHSST, joined by Mr. Sorimachi/Principal of HHSST and Mr. Inoue/Director of SEISA Group's FGS (the Foundation for Global Children). Myanmar's students have had pleasant time there, expressing impressions about the last 3 days and also exchanging views and opinions. Mr. Toe, lecturer accompanying them, has said that the program offered by HHSST has been very helpful to him, too, since he has been able to learn the difference in teaching methods between Japan and Myanmar.
In the end commemorative photos have been taken, and some souvenirs have been handed over by the Student Council of HHSST. Then, seen off by many Japanese friends, Myanmar's students have left the school, waving their hands. They have seemed to be reluctant to part from them and HHSST.
7th Day of Japan Study Program - January 23
Myanmar's students have paid a courtesy visit to Mr. Kuroiwa, Governor of Kanagawa Prefecture, in the morning, explaining to him with self-confidence what they have so far learned and experienced in Japan. In response, the Governor has warmly welcomed them in Burmese and then has encouraged them, indicating how big the expectation is which the people concerned including himself have for them.
After the above, the company visit program has started. First they have seen an engine factory of Nissan Motor Corporation, followed by the visit to Yokohama Litera (Package Printer) and Yokohama Dry (Cleaning-service Company).
It seems they have been impressed with each firm; especially they have found interesting arm robots and automatic-guided vehicles (AGVs) being widely used in the factories, and KAIZEN/5S (Five S) they learned at HHSST being practiced in each manufacturing site.
8th Day of Japan Study Program 2014 - January 24
Today's first event has been a visit to SEISA Takao Campus (two and a half drive from SEISA Dormitory). Myanmar's students have been welcomed there by Ms. Sumiyoshi wearing "Kimono". Having closely seen the national costume of Japan for the first time, they have thanked the Japanese high school girl of SEISA, and have taken photos together.
Then they have been invited to lunch by Mr. Inoue, Managing Director of FGC (the Foundation for Global Children)/SEISA Group, and have also been informed about the history of SEISA Group and its Mission with 3 Promises.
In the afternoon, they have made technical visits, first to Olympus where they have learned the history of the development of the endoscope, then to GE Healthcare Japan where they have been informed about the design/function of MRI, and also to Kitahara International Clinic where they have received explanation about advanced equipment/devices actually used for medical treatments.
It seems that the students have very much been impressed with many things of the leading companies. On the other hand, we have been impressed by the words of their lecturer, Mr. Toe, saying "many thins which we have seen today are unfortunately not yet available in Myanmar, but it will be the job of my students to make them available for our country in the near future".
9th Day of Japan Study Program 2014 - January 25
Today's program has started with interesting handcraft practice of traditional Japanese paper, supported by a specialist belonging to the Paper Research Institute which is also one of SEISA Group's organizations.
In the afternoon, Myanmar's students have traveled to Tokyo for sightseeing for the first time. They have been in Asakusa and Akihabara which are both famous sightseeing places. Seeing many shops each of which is crowded with many tourists, they have also enjoyed selecting some souvenirs.
In the city they have used trains and subways to move, and have been surprised by their smooth and punctual operations and disciplined getting-on and -off of passengers and also by ticketless travel with "SUICA" (deposit card). They have also had a chance there to see "Skytree", the newly constructed highest tower in Japan (634m in height).
10th Day of Japan Study Program 2014 - January 26
Today is Sunday, so Myanmar's students have enjoyed full-day sightseeing in Kamakura and Enoshima (one hour drive from SEISA Dormitory). In the morning they have visited Tsurugaoka Shrine, the entrance of which they have found typical Japanese, and then visited the Great Buddha and had a wonderful chance to enter the inside.
In the afternoon they have moved to Enoshima, and have been surprised at seeing many people enjoying surfing there in the sea of the winter. Their comment is: "the beach is not the place for leisure, but for working in Myanmar". Then they have enjoyed a dolphin show in an aquarium, too. In the front of a big water tank with various kinds of fish, they have said "we feel ourselves as if we were in the water".
11th Day of Japan Study Program 2014 - January 27
Many interesting experiences have been available today, too.
In the morning, Myanmar's students have visited Suzuhiro/Odawara. Odawara, the city close to SEISA Dormitory, is famous for "Kamaboko", Japanese traditional boiled fish paste. Suzuhiro is the most successful Kamaboko maker in that area, which sells their products throughout Japan. They have not only made a factory tour but also been given a chance to make "Kamaboko" and "Chikuwa" (grilled fish paste) by themselves. In the end, they have tried to eat "Chikuwa" fresh-grilled, with very happy faces.
From Odawara they have moved to Shin-Yokohama with “Shinkansen”, the bullet train the average speed of which is 270km/h. Although having been for 20 minutes only, it has been a very impressive experience for them. Then they have visited an automated bicycle parking tower, and have shown keen interests especially in the motor-driven arm designed to grip various kinds of bicycles stably. Repeatedly seeing bicycles being taken out of the tower, they have asked a representative of Famm (the company doing the maintenance of the system) how it is controlled by sensors and software.
Today they have mainly used several trains and have found “SUICA” (deposit card with IC chip) very convenient, which can be used for almost all trains/subways/buses without buying a ticket each time.
12th Day of Japan Study Program 2014 - January 28
Prior to leaving Japan next day, Myanmar's students have come to SEISA Group's head office to attend a closing event for the study program. Each member has received a Completion Certificate from Mr. Inoue, Managing Director of FGC (Foundation for Global Children)/SEISA Group. For it the Japanese paper was used, which they handcrafted by themselves two days ago.
Expressing their appreciation, each member has explained what he/she has thought and felt during the stay in Japan; e.g. "everything we have seen is new and interesting", "we now find ourselves obliged to do everything possible to contribute to the development of Myanmar", "we hope the study program will continue in the future, too", "we do never forget SEISA's 3 key promises", etc.
In the end of the event, commemorative photos have been taken, together with SEISA students/teachers. Then they have left the office, being seen off by many people including Mr. Miyazawa and Mr. Inoue.
In the afternoon, the last technical visit has waited for them in the center of Tokyo; it is Nippon Broadcasting System Incorp., the largest AM radio broadcasting company in Japan. As FM radio is mainly used in Myanmar, they have heard, with much interest, explanations about the difference between AM and FM and about the controlling room to transmit broadcast programs and also about the broadcasting studio where they have been allowed to enter and do disc-jockey experiences.
After the above, they have paid a visit to Myanmar's Embassy, reporting on their activities during the stay in Japan. Then they have moved to a hotel close to Narita Airport where they will leave for Myanmar tomorrow morning. Reportedly they have packed luggages, then enjoyed the last night, chatting for long time.
13th Day of Japan Study Program 2014 - January 29
With mixed feelings Myanmar's students have seen the morning of the last day, and have moved to the airport form the hotel. Everyone now has one more bag, compared to when he/she came to Japan, to accommodate souvenirs as well as invaluable memories/experiences of the last 12 days. Before check-in, there has been one more surprise; knowing any liquid may not be taken into the airplane, they have drunk up the cola given in a hurry.
Mr. Toe, lecturer, has said: "After return we will practice SEISA's 3 key promises (Leave nobody out, Understand each other, and Make friends) at each school. We confirmed this on that day when we saw Mt. Fuji for the first time." Following him, all students have also confirmed the same.
"Thwa dO mE"(Burmese), "Sayonara", "See you"; greeting with various farewell words, they have disappeared into the emigration area. We are very much interested in seeing how they will materialize their dreams in the future and are very pleased to meet them again on any kind of occasion. Please join us in wishing them good health and much success !