|The children perform a local dance at the closing ceremony. |
October 27, 2013
The Kushiro School for the Deaf in Kushiro-shi, Hokkaido, the northern island of Japan, which will be closed at the end of March, 2014 because of reduction of the number of students, held a closing ceremony on October 26.
About 150 alumni and former school staffs gathered and said good-bye to the school's 65-year history. The students will be transferred to the Kushiro Tsuruno Support School (釧路鶴野支援学校) which will open in April, next year.
The School for the Deaf has offered a program from a preschool, elementary through junior high school, and eight children are currently enrolled.
A Deaf-Mute class was established for the first time in the municipal Toei elementary school (市立東栄小) in 1948, and it was transferred to prefectural two years later.
About 300 students so far graduated, and in recent years the enrollment with less than ten students has continued. The Prefecture Education Board determined the closure of the Deaf School in 2012.