At the invitation of the University of Tsukuba, Japan, SEAMEO CELLL sent its staff to the University on a four-month Visiting Research Fellow Programme to study the well-known Japanese social education institution, Kominkan, and its sisters lifelong learning centre and community centre. The first phase spanning a period of two months November and December focused on Kominkan, and the second from January to February is a comparative study of the models.
Interview at National Kominkan Association
A Japanese blowgun (fukiya) activity in Saitama city Lifelong Learning Centre
Kominkan is a model of community learning centres emerging after World War II and quickly becoming an embodiment of the country’s endeavour to decentralise and democratise education management. In the aftermath of the war, when life was very hard, it met the genuine needs of the people – learning practical things for the betterment of their lives. The centre also served as a gathering place for social activities, thus upholding the community spirit of the pre-war era.
The first study is expected to result in a truthful, detailed description of Kominkan that can enrich a rather modest literature written in English of this UNESCO-promoted institution – a community learning centre of the people, by the people and for the people.
The second is a comparative research which attempts to draw a faint line between Kominkan, Lifelong Learning Centre, and Community Centre; thus contributing to the literature of lifelong learning and helping pave the way for future researches in the field.
The reports of the two phases of the study will be made available on SEAMEO CELLL website. A workshop to share the findings and discuss possible adaptation and adoption of the models will be held in May 2017.