The Basis of Mountainous Areas Maintenance Focusing on the Functions of Childcare and Education:The Case of Niiyama District, Ina City

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Other Title
  • 保育および教育機能からみた中山間地域の存続基盤
  • ── 伊那市新山地区を事例として ──


<p> This study aims to explain how childcare and education affect the maintenance of the Niiyama district in Ina city. Niiyama district is a typically underpopulated region in a mountainous area. This study focused on diverse actors in a nursery school and an elementary school as well as local community members who played an important role in childcare and education. Their actions and connections outside of the community were then analyzed. Niiyama has regarded childcare and education as important functions since 1947, when most of the district’s residents joined the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) of Niiyama elementary school. However, the number of children attending the school drastically decreased in the latter half of the 2000s. Eventually, the nursery school was shut down because it did not have enough children enrolled. In addition, some residents who were worried about the future sustainability of their district took alternative action, focusing on enhancing childcare and education. Specifically, these residents focused on building relationships between local mothers. As a result, Niiyama district regained enough students to reopen the nursery school. Furthermore, the district has become attractive to people who have recently moved to the area. Most of the families moving to Niiyama district are part of the “child-raising” generation. Under these circumstances, the call to maintain the functions of childcare and education expanded to include promoting migration to the district.</p>


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