Hokkaido, Japan. 
Public basic education school, 
Founded in 2017 (integrated 2 schools), 
Number of students: 6, 
Age: 6-15 (primary & secondary)

Community school utilizing resources in the local community in depopulated area
Tomamu school is a public community school in depopulated area in Hokkaido, Japan. While cooperating with the community, the school provides continuous 9 years education from primary through early secondary levels. The municipality created “Volunteer human resource bank” in the village for school education, and by utilizing this human resource, school provides and unique and variety of educational programmes based on the community. Their education model cultivates both community’s understanding of school education and children’s understanding of their local cultures.



Tomamu school is a public community school in depopulated area in Hokkaido, Japan. While cooperating with the community, the school provides continuous 9 years education from primary through early secondary levels.

Children who can create future society
– Learn by encountering various people, things and experiences
Create their own way of life

Community school utilizing resources in the local community
Integrate primary and lower secondary school and provide coherent education
-Create human resource bank and programmes collaborating with volunteers

Coherent education integrating primary and lower secondary school
In general, basic education in Japan is divided into 6 years elementary school and 3 years junior high school. However, in this are, the municipality integrated the Tomamu elementary school and the Tomamu junior high school in 2017, and established the social foundation that supports the school with the local community. The aim was to ensure the number of teachers and quality of education to develop children’s future.
The school developed a nine year coherent curriculum that emphasized the continuity of learning.

Human resource bank and education programmes based on the community
To support the healthy growth of children based on the community, the community, the school and the parents work together and cooperate to organize the “Shimukappu village school support headquarter”, and more effect Support for children’s learning is being done.
The municipality created “Volunteer human resource bank” for school education in the village, and 71 people (in 2017) registered. Utilizing this human resource bank, the coordinator matches the school needs and specialties of local volunteers.

As examples of education programmes based on and supported by the local community,
-Learning species and harvest method of wild vegetables
-Agriculture skills to grow vegetables
-Traditional food using wild vegetable or local vegetables
-Intergenerational exchange and inheritance of traditional culture, such as traditional dance

In addition, the school and municipality cooperate to disseminate information to community to promoting voluntary actions by community people such as reading for children, environment improvement around the school.

Develop public community school model in depopulated area
-Deepening of community people’s understanding of school education
Provide unique educational programmes based on the community

As the community supports learning of children, the community understanding of the school has deepened, and the consciousness of “schools in the community” among local people has been changed. Many local people are involved in and supporting education.
Through learning activity cooperating with local volunteers, children learn about their community and nurtures love for their home district.

This case increased recognition of the effectiveness of the community school, and pushed the decision to make all elementary and junior high schools in the village community schools.