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Mr. Kazuyuki Ito

Mr. Kazuyuki Ito [profile]

Past and present of Chuo University High School
—Solid education in a family-like atmosphere—

Mr. Kazuyuki Ito
Vice-Principal, Chuo University High School

First affiliated school of Chuo University: the turbulent times

Chuo University High School was founded in 1928 as the first affiliated school established by Chuo University. The school was founded to provide a place of education for the working youths who had a strong ambition for learning. Originally named Chuo Daigaku Shogyo Gakko, the school offered a 4-year evening curriculum. Under the conditions spelled out by the government, the school was categorized as a part-time school, since it lacked its own buildings and used university classrooms. The teachers were also university professors. Accordingly, it could be said that the school's history began as an affiliated school under direct jurisdiction of the university. Incidentally, the school's spirit of ”solid education in a family-like atmosphere” was inherited directly from the ethos of Chuo University. During the educational system reform following World War II, the name of the high school was named after Chuo University. Such a method of naming is quite rare even throughout Japan.

The following is a summary of major events highlighting the school's history.

Mar. 1928:Founding and opening of Chuo Daigaku Shogyo Gakko (Class A, 4-year evening curriculum in Commerce)
First Principal: Genji Baba (President, Chuo University; former Supreme Court Director)
Apr. 1948:Name changed to Chuo University High School (4-year evening curriculum in Commerce)
Aug. 1980:Relocated to current site on Faculty of Science and Engineering Campus, Kasuga, Bunkyo Ward (Building No. 8)
Apr. 1993:Switched classes to daytime curriculum; introduced school uniforms

Since its founding, the school has conducted a policy of small-group education. Consequently, despite being affiliated with a university, the school faced issues with its management budget. In 1965, the Board of Directors considered stopping the acceptance of new students. Shocked by such developments, the majority of students, alumni, and faculty at the time rallied around the idea of ensuring the school's continued existence. Many people affiliated with the school rushed into the building where the Board of Directors was holding deliberations. There was even a plan for students and alumni to break into the room where the meeting was being held. This episode is still talked about at the school even today.

Overcoming such hardships, the school established an unparalleled position as an evening curriculum high school following World War II. Some of the graduates entered Chuo University and studied diligently while working to financially support their own studies. Currently, many such alumni are active in various fields including law.

As time changed, there was a significant change in the meaning of evening-curriculum high schools. In 1993, the school took the bold step of changing to a daytime-curriculum (part-time) high school with classes starting from 10am. Although it is currently common for part-time high schools to offer a daytime curriculum, it was likely to have been the first in Japan.

Chuo University High School has maintained a notably high competitive ratio for entrance examinations when compared to other private high schools in the Tokyo area. This popularity is the result of favorable conditions including its affiliation with Chuo University, an increase in admission by recommendation, the time schedule with classes starting from 10am, and its location on the Science and Engineering campus in central Tokyo with convenient access to public transportation. Currently, there are 40 students in one class, and 4 classes per grade, which start from 9:20am. The total number of students enrolled are under 500. The school aims to cultivate students who will become the core student body making Chuo University, who will one day serve as leaders in society.

Chuo University High School today
(1) Activities by student council and student committees

One major feature of the school is the student council and student committees activities. The student Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson are part of the student council executive body, an organization which conducts activities as the core of the student council. The executive body is a large organization, with around 60 student members each year. Main activities of the student council are as follows.

Activities of the student council
  • Issuance of Student Council Newspaper
  • Operation of sports festival to welcome new students
  • Recycling campaign
  • Supporting for school orientation
  • Holding of orientation by the student council
  • Preparation of venue for entrance examinations
  • Organizing venue for entrance examinations and guidance
  • Gathering of opinions/activities for improvement of school life

In particular, at school orientations, student council members give presentations sharing their experiences when taking entrance examinations, and their impression of school life and club activities. Furthermore, when polite student council members support the preparation for entrance examination venues and provide guidance to prospective students, many of the prospective students taking the entrance examinations also feel like they want to enter Chuo University High School and perform similar activities themselves.

In terms of improving daily life at the school, the student council gathers opinions from students and conveys those opinions to the school. In the past, activities by the student council have led to the introduction of new school uniforms.

Activities of student committees
  • Culture Festival Committee
  • Sports Festival Committee
  • Library Committee
  • Broadcasting Committee

Particularly in the case of the Culture Festival and Sports Festival, the activities of these committees are so important that the festivals could not be held without them. Committees start preparing in April for festivals held in September. Students spend their summer vacations preparing. The great effort which students put into the preparation is rewarded by successful events. Students feel a great sense of accomplishment which is a precious experience within their life at high school.

Student activities play a central role in school events at any high school. However, at Chuo University High School, in addition to the Culture Festival and Sports Festival, there is a high degree of student involvement in school management such as the orientation sessions and entrance examinations. In that respect, the ability of each student is essential at our school. Students also have a close bond with faculty members.

Chuo University High School today
(2) High School Student Career Seminar

As a new project beginning from the last academic year, the school started the "High School Student Career Seminar: Modeling My Way of Life" through cooperation from Chuo University and participating corporations. An overview of the seminar is given below.

[Method]
Based on advice given by facilitators sent from participating corporations, each team ascertains social issues, finds solutions and gives presentations.
[Objective]
Through seminar activities, high school students recognize their role in society and acquire a sense of purpose, ethics, self-expression ability and interpersonal ability. Finding solutions as a team allows students to practice stating their opinions and refine their leadership/communication skills. Moreover, in addition to acquiring such skills, the seminar is an opportunity for students to visualize their way of life in the future.

This year is still only the second year in which the seminar will be held. Even so, the seminar has already received an unexpectedly positive response on raising the students’ potential, even going beyond the positive outcomes for companies as well. Students who took the seminar have entered university and are achieving great success in their university life. The seminar will continue to be modified for an even better experience for students.

Conclusion

Compared to other Chuo University affiliated schools and other schools in the same area, Chuo University High School may have a disadvantage in terms of our facilities, since there are no original school grounds and specially-equipped classrooms. However, the students, faculty and staff have come together and conceived ways to turn disadvantages into advantages. Everyone at Chuo University High School gives their best effort to create a high school that offers a solid education in a family-like atmosphere.

Reference
Mr. Kazuyuki Ito
Vice-Principal, Chuo University High School
Born in Iwate Prefecture in 1951.
Graduated from the Faculty of Letters, Chuo University in 1976. Completed the Master's Program at the Graduate School of Letters, Chuo University in 1980.
Became a full-time instructor at Chuo University High School in 1996.
Assumed his current position of Vice-Principal at Chuo University High School in 2008.
Majored in modern literature (naturalism) at university.