In that symposium a presenter told that Science Council of Japan proposed to make "Basic Geography" and "Basic History" compulsory at high schools. I understood the presenter meant to say that students need to take them for living. In short studying geography and history prevents or decrease possible tragic results in natural disasters. for example, of one knows the history and condition of where one lives, the knowledge may save one's life.
I know a person who teaches domestic science at a high school and a junior high school. She often says that the domestic science is disregard at school. She and her company believe that the domestic science should be given more time to prepare their students for life.
I agree with them. But the class hours are limited. to increase the class hours for one subject we have to reduce the class hours for other subjects. It is difficult to deduce which class to reduce or increase. When one subject is not chosen for the entrance examinations for university, the allotted hours for that subject could be given to the ones for the entrance examinations, which is often the case although it is illegal. When something fatal happens, we have to survive with all our ability, knowledge, experience,intelligence, and physical power. So the members in charge of the entrance examinations have great responsibility.
Another speaker mumbled at the end of his sentences. it is hard to listen to such a person. He is a professor of a university and not young. Has he ever trained himself to speak clearly? I think it is a part of his job duty to speak in listener-friendly voice. Anyway we were exhausted by him. We didn't appreciate his speech itself either. We recalled a young associate professor who we met in our alumni reunion in September. She told that she sometimes went to a Rakugo theater to learn how to attract students. We complained about such and such on the way back home in the train.
Among the speakers Mr. Kawada was very good. Another friend of mine told that she listened to his lecture at the meeting for the teachers in Mishima Osaka. She said,"Mr. Kawada said that when East South Sea Earthquake comes, a tidal wave will reach as far as Takatuki. Although it is not easy to believe (Takatuki is 30km away from the sea as the crow flies.), it is true because Mr. Kawada said so." I understood why he was so popular soon. So did my friend who attended the symposium. He didn't say anything about tidal waves. He told the possibility of reservoir break (There are 210thousand ponds all over the Japan.), skyscrapers on the man-made islands, liquefaction and intelligent trouble when a great earthquake occurs.