PNJK IS 1992-2012
It starts from a red-colored egg…then, days after, it turns into a wriggling worm…then, it evolves into a cocoon…it hibernates for some time…then, the green-colored worm transforms. VOILA! A beautiful butterfly flutters to and fro hovering over the flowers.
Just like a butterfly, Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai International School (PNJK IS) started as a miniature trying to grow and become more stable and competitive amidst the established and known educational institutions all over the city.
The School was founded in 1992. It began its history as a Nihongo school that was offered every Saturday for the Japanese descendants and interested Dabawenyos in 1985. PNJK was able to acquire a 5,000 sq. meter lot that was donated by the Davao-born Japanese, Mr. Tatsuo Uchida and Mr. Shiromi Furukawa, Mr. Osamu Toyoguchi and Buddhist priest, Rev. Masataka Ajiro. Not long after, the Tokyo Musashino Lions Club and Mr. Tatsuo Uchida donated a 3- classroom-one-storey building for PNJK. That was the first building owned by the mother association.
In 1990, Mrs. Adelaida Panaguiton convinced the members of the PNJK Board of Directors that there is a need to open a regular school in order to cater to the educational needs of the young people in the community and maximize as well the use of the building donated by the Tokyo Musashino Lions Club. It was then Fiscal, now retired Judge Antonina Escovilla and Mrs. Carmen Apigo, who processed the needed documents and successfully registered the Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai Educational Center Preschool Department in 1992 with the Department of Education (DepEd).
The school started its operation in the School Year 1992-1993 under the leadership of the first principal, Mrs. Atenodora Mori (deceased), with only two classes, Kinder I (with barely 10 pupils) and Kinder II (with only 14 pupils). The first hired teachers were Ms. Eva Nacario and Ms. Ruelyn Cubio-Bobiles. The first appointed School Administrator was the late Mr. Vicente Mori, while the managing president was Mr. Rodolfo Abe Tutor.
The efforts of the members of the Board of Directors to serve the community through the educational services had inspired the following Japanese philanthropists to extend financial assistance in order to help in the growth and development of the institution: Davao-born Japanese Mr. Tatsuo Uchida, Mr. Shiromi Furukawa (deceased), Mr. Osamu Toyoguchi (deceased), Mr. Shuichi Abe and Mr. Shinobu Murakami then president of Kigyo Kyogi Kai, Rev. Masataka Ajiro and the Tokyo Musashino Lions Club.
In 1999, the school became an independent educational institution under the umbrella of PNJK with the name Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai School of Davao duly registered with Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Education.
After having graduated Grade Six students, the Board of Regents of PNJK decided to open a high school to accommodate the elementary graduates. By a twist of faith and coupled with luck, Rev. Ajiro came to Davao in the year 2000 with a news that a retired Japanese elementary school principal, Mrs. Mina Ishiguro passed away and left a will that the money that she will leave behind should be used for school projects. The timely donation from Mrs. Ishiguro helped PNJK in the construction of a 4-room-annex school building to be used by the high school freshmen.
In 2001, Mrs. Ines P. Mallari took over the position of Mr. Vicente Mori as the School Administrator. On the same year, after having conducted series of meetings, evaluation and self-study, and with the genuine desire of the school administration to offer a quality education, the school implemented the DepEd policy that all teachers must be passers of the Licensure Exam for Teachers (LET). This resulted to the hiring of around 32 licensed and effective teachers. Mrs. Aurora B. Jao also became the second school principal. After her retirement, she was then replaced by Mr. Wilfredo M. Terante.
On June 2003, after the two years of application and painstaking follow-ups, the Elementary department was granted by the DepEd the government recognition and it was in 2005 when the High School Department was also recognized by the same government agency. With the government recognition at hand, the school was spared with the hassle of having to ask for a yearly permit to operate since the recognition is perpetually effective until revoked.
With God’s grace, the students keep growing in number every year, thus, the need to add more classrooms and other facilities was strongly felt. Fortunately, in 2005, the school was able to obtain a huge loan from the magnanimous 2002 Datu Bago Awardee, Mr. Tatsuo Uchida. The grant of a significant amount of loan paved the way for the acquisition of the additional 5,000 sq. meters adjacent lot. Subsequently, the said property was utilized for the construction of the fully air-conditioned preschool and primary school building, PNJK IS Sports Complex, Baseball Field and PNJK Polyclinic and Diagnostic Center.
On the same year, the school likewise applied and was granted by the Bureau of Immigration the accreditation and authority to accept foreign students. As a result of which, the school started to accept foreign students in addition to the majority of Filipino learners. Because of this development, the name of the school was again changed to Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai International School. At present, the school has 70% pure Filipino students, 25% Japanese or Japanese descendants and 5% students from other nationalities.
The school is very active in curricular and co-curricular activities. Aside from participating in several programs, activities, and competitions within or outside Davao City, the school is also proud to co-organize along with the Davao City Baseball Association and Datu Uchida Development Foundation, the yearly Davao City Baseball Tournament which gathers more or less 20 participating teams from both public and private elementary and high schools within the City. The said sports event is under the sponsorship of Tokyo Kichijoji Lions Club. Another event that the school is actively drawn in that also involves many public and private elementary and high schools of Davao City is the annual Recorder Ensemble Competition.
In the year 2007, the school applied for accreditation from the Philippine Association of Accrediting Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU), the most prestigious accrediting agency in the country. PAASCU granted PNJK IS the applicant status in 2008 and a Member status in the subsequent year. A formal visit by the said accrediting body is set on August 2012 in order to assess if the school deserves to get the accreditation Level 1.
It was also on the same year that the school was given the DepEd’s accreditation to become one of the private schools that could partner with DepEd in its Educational Service Contracting (ESC) program. Through the ESC, the tuition fee of the students with financial problems, yet interested to study in private schools, shall be subsidized by the government on the condition that a student shall qualify in the screening procedure that is conducted by the government officials. Moreover, the faculty members who are teaching the ESC subsidized students may also get government subsidy on top of their regular salary every year.
Furthermore, PNJK IS has forged sister-school agreements with Sekolah Indonesian School in Davao and SMK Negeri 4 Malang High School, in Java Indonesia.
At present, PNJK IS is being run by the following members of the Board of Trustees as the policy-making body: President – Judge Antonina B. Escovilla, Vice-President- Rev. Bernardo N. Fernandez, Sr., Secretary-Mrs. Nelma N. Adachi, Treasurer – Mrs. Ines P. Mallari, Auditor – Mrs. Aurora B. Jao, Mrs. Adelaida Panaguiton, Mrs. Carmen C. Apigo, Mr. Juseven S. Austero and Mr. Felipe Hiquial, Jr.
The school is manned by the efficient and competent administrative staff, and effective and qualified teachers. Some of the rank and file rose from the ranks and are now occupying supervisory positions. The incumbent heads of both elementary and high school, Mr. Rodrigo Velasco Jr. and Mrs. Lucia D. Josol, were among those hired in 2001 as classroom teachers.
The school is fortunate to have students within the city and those from the neighboring towns who come to study for several reasons, among them are as follow: being residents of the surrounding subdivisions; being enticed with the unique academic and co-curricular program for foreign students; due to the integration of the Japanese language, traditions and culture in the school’s curriculum; the presence of a pool of competent, efficient and effective teachers who underwent rigid screening prior to employment and are provided continuous in-service trainings; the hiring of Japanese teachers and consultants; the active involvement of the school in the activities of the community and; the exposures and discipline instilled in the students.
Because of the enriched curriculum coupled with the sincere desire to be of service to the community, the school population continues to grow in number, even in the absence of campaigns or paid advertisements.