How Japan is trying to foster innovative talents for students through compulsory education?


(Fostering innovative talents for students at schools is at the center of attention.)[Photo=photoAC/acworks]

* Educedia ENG introduces basic information and current situation of Japanese education system in English from Tokyo to the world. ("Educedia"は新しい試みとして英語記事を立ち上げ、日本の教育制度と現状について発信していきます。)

47 percent of jobs will be replaced by AI

You must have heard these views; "47 percent of jobs will be replaced by AI" and "AI will expand the economical gaps in the world."

Cultivating new skills for the coming new age became one of the most crucial issue in the world.

Under such a rapid change of society, Japanese government is making effort to foster innovative talents, for the young.

Programming education

First, national curriculum standards were renewed from 2016 to 2017, and "Programming education" became compulsory.

"Programming education" has a broad meaning.
It means not only learning how to write programing code.
For example, children in elementary schools are taught logical thinking through cross curriculum learning using ICT.

It aims to cultivate basic skills for programming in the future, and foster a higher sense of science and mathematics.

Enrichment of ICT equipment in schools

Second, the ministry of education in Japan is requesting that municipalities enrich ICT equipment in schools.

Laptops, digital projection equipment, wireless networks are being promoted. But it is a vast project, so it must take time.

According to statistics announced by ministry of education in 2017, there are one laptop per 5.6 students in schools in average.
The budget each municipalities can provide is limited. This shotage of ICT equipments in schools is one of dificult problems.

Prime minister ABE Shinzo mentioned in these days that government willl support to provide one laptop per one childen.

But we should not forget that maintenance costs will accrue every 3-5 years after perchase computers.

Super Science High-schools

Third, the ministry of education acknowledges high schools which have original enriched curriculum in the science and mathematics fields, as "Super Science High schools (SSH)," and encourages them.

203 high schools are certified in 2017, and these schools gain 9 - 16 million yen per year for 5 years to promote their programs such as student exchanges and collaborate research projects with universities and companies.

How will Japanese schools make themselves more flexible?

The Japanese challenge is not only how to ensure the budget for ICT tools in schools, but also how to consider which applications should be permitted to be used in schools.

In Japan, teachers cannot chose applications freely, it is quite limited.

We should carefully watch how the student's learning data will be used by Ed tech companies, but I think how such a situation can be made more flexible is the biggest issue in Japan.


[Written by: Yoko KUBO]

* This article is written by Yoko KUBO for her personal study. The information of article is showing the situation at that moment of its published. It can be different from the latest news. Please refer the contents under your responsibilities.

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