Visiting Class at a High School in Kawasaki City
On December 15, a visiting class was held for second-year students (38 students) of the Department of Science at Kawasaki City High School for Science & Technology. The lecturers were Dr. Yukihiro Kanda (Ichiki Lab), and Ms. Michiko Yagi, Executive Director of Kawasaki Nursing Association. The primary objective of the class was to help the students understand the current situation in Japan, which faces one of the world’s top super-aged societies with an aging rate* of 29%, and the inevitable reality that the aging rate will grow to 36% by 2045, when the students will be 38 years old. For the current high school students, the “aging society” is still a long way off, and they were supposed to think of it as something completely different, but as they learned about the reality, their faces changed. After the classroom lecture, the students were divided into groups for the workshop. First, in order to organize what they had just learned, the participants were asked to imagine what kind of life would be waiting for them if things continued as they were now. Words of pessimism about the future such as, “It’s all gloom and doom,” and “We are blessed in this day and age.” Then, paradoxically, when asked to envision their ideal life in the future, they came up with phrases such as “a society that does not need nursing care” and “a society that supports the development of science and technology”. Next March, we plan to hold a discussion with leading scientists in cutting-edge fields on how to approach these ideals. We hope that this will lead to the formation of a mindset of “we must create our own future”.