Schoolchildren in Japan can continue learning about inclusion through the Paralympic values, following the translation of the International Paralympic Committee's I'mPOSSIBLE educational toolkit.
A Task Force set up by the NPC Japan / the Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Center has published the third edition of the teaching materials in the Japanese language. The materials are meant to educate children in the classroom about the Paralympic Movement and what it stands for. The Japanese version was developed to adapt to the country's school curriculum.
This edition will also be distributed free to about 17,000 secondary education schools and schools for special needs education, as well as about 1,800 Board of Educations in every prefecture and municipality across Japan. More information can be found on the I'mPossible Japan Task Force website.
Distributed free every year since 2017 for The Elementary Education version and 2018 for the Secondary Education version to schools in Japan, the toolkit offers a complete package of teaching resources such as lesson plans and DVDs, and enable teachers, even those who are unfamiliar with the Paralympics, to easily utilise it in their classes.
The I’mPOSSIBLE Task Force in Japan offers a teacher training upon request of school boards in prefectures and municipalities. As of the end of 2019, 115 teacher trainings have been held across Japan since 2017 and 9,732 teachers have participated.
"I have learned so much from the Paralympic Movement and it has helped to mold me into the person who I am today. Therefore, I hope to pass such attractive values of the Paralympic Movement to the next young generation. As a Paralympian, it is my greatest pleasure to know we live in an era that Paralympic education is being implemented as a part of the school education programme.
“As a former teacher, I feel this is the greatest material to change the mindset of students to consider how an inclusive world can be realised,” said Junichi Kawai, president Japanese Paralympic Committee, who was inducted into the Paralympic Hall of Fame in 2016.
Nippon Foundation Paralympic Support Centre (NFPSC) has supported the programmes as a funding/human resource provider for the local adaptation of I’mPOSSIBLE into Japanese context. The NFPSC has also provided funding to the Agitos Foundation for the development of the I’mPOSSIBLE toolkit in English, French and Spanish.
Kawai added, “In the lessons of I’mPOSSIBLE, students will be inspired by the Paralympic values of courage, determination, inspiration, and equality in the vivid stories of Paralympians, and take advantage of the opportunity to consider what is necessary to realise an inclusive society through various creative modifications shown in Paralympic sports which change ‘impossible’ into ‘I’m possible’. I sincerely wish teachers at many schools will provide their students with such a unique learning opportunity. We, the Japanese Paralympic Committee will also make the utmost effort to promote I’mPOSSIBLE in Japan.”
I’mPOSSIBLE is an educational programme featuring the Paralympics to raise young people’s awareness of an inclusive society, and was initiated by the IPC's development arm the Agitos Foundation.