A JAPANESE delegation is in town this week to formalise a sister city-style agreement between Bathurst High School and Iiyama-Kita High School.
The relationship, eight months in the making, came about following talks between the two schools.
Bathurst High principal Geoff Hastings said the delegation arrived in Bathurst on Monday and would remain until today.
Among the delegation is mayor Masanori Adachi and eight Iiyama students.
Mr Hastings said Bathurst High had a sister school arrangement with Ohkuma before it was devastated by a tsunami and nuclear meltdown in 2011.
“We travelled to Ohkuma a number of times, and sadly Ohkuma is no more,” Mr Hastings said.
Mr Hastings said since then Bathurst High School has been in contact with a number of schools in Japan and learnt Iiyama was also looking for a relationship.
Following eight months of talks, the two schools have established a sister school agreement.
Mr Hastings said yesterday’s formalisation of the process, which occurred in Bathurst High School’s new gymnasium, would cut red tape and allow both schools to host exchange visits.
He also said both schools will now be in regular contact using existing technologies to boost each other’s educational programs.
“We are in the same time zone as them, so we can use the technology to connect with their classrooms, they can work with us to improve their English experiences and similarly we can work with them to improve our Japanese.”
Mr Hastings said the students at Bathurst High were delighted to have another sister city school on board.
“We already have another relationship with Goldie College in the Solomon Islands,” he said.
“But the relationship with Iiyama will be a different relationship.”
While in Bathurst carrying out the formalities of signing the agreement, Mr Hastings said the delegates also made a visit to Bathurst Regional Council, Charles Sturt University and Mount Panorama, plus a walking tour of Bathurst’s CBD.