The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) and the Hiroshima Prefectural Board of Education Japan recently signed an agreement of education collaboration to further commit the relationship between Hiroshima and Hawaii. The new agreement comes as Hiroshima and Hawaii celebrate the 25th anniversary of their sister-state relationship.
Dignitaries from Hawaii and Hiroshima who attended the event to commemorate the signing included State of Hawaii First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige representing Gov. David Ige, Hiroshima Prefectural Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki, HIDOE Superintendent Keith Hayashi, and Hiroshima Prefectural Board of Education Superintendent Rie Hirakawa.
The signed Statement of Intent on Education Cooperation acknowledges the cultural and educational benefits gained by establishing a formal relationship between the school districts, and signifies that both states will collaborate to expand these opportunities.
"We are excited to explore ways to deepen our collaboration with Hiroshima through activities like study tours and study abroad opportunities for students, teacher training and teacher exchange opportunities, and sister-school relationships," said Hawaii Superintendent Hayashi. “I’m very pleased that we are able to once again provide our students with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to experience other cultures and learn from their global peers, while teaching others what makes Hawaii so special. These experiences will benefit many more students in the years to come as we continue to work closely with our friends and colleagues in Japan.”
Hiroshima Superintendent Hirakawa also emphasized the connection to the Hiroshima Prefectural Board of Education’s promotion of global learning approaches and plans for learning innovation. “Since 2011, we have been actively encouraging and supporting sister schools, exchanges and study abroad programs,” she said. “The Statement of Intent agreement will promote educational, friendly exchanges, and will encourage mutual understanding between Hiroshima and Hawaii."
Hiroshima Global Academy Principal Kazuhiko Fukushima and Kaiser High School Principal Justin Mew also formalized their new sister-school agreement at the ceremony. As International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme schools, both principals expressed an excitement to collaborate and learn from one another going forward. This is the newest sister-school agreement since 2015, and is Kaiser’s second Hiroshima sister-school, the first being with Kannabe Asahi High, which was established in 2013.
In addition to Kaiser, there are 11 HIDOE schools that have Hiroshima sister schools including:
- Aiea High (Inokuchi High)
- Moanalua High (Kokutaiji High)
- Roosevelt High (Yasunishi High)
- Kalani High (Koyo High)
- Kalaheo High (Otake High)
- Campbell High (Sogo Gijutsu High)
- Mililani High (Fuchu High)
- Waipahu High (Fukuyama Iyo High)
- Kapolei High (Fuchu Higashi High)
- Honokaa High (Kake High) and
- Niu Valley Middle (Sera Town Junior High)