The government plans to provide more personal computers to Japanese schools abroad so their students can continue to study online at home, as the coronavirus epidemic shows no signs of slowing down globally.
The Ministry of Education intends to ensure that every student in Japanese primary and secondary schools abroad has access to a computer, thereby expanding the reach of the existing national initiative.
It estimates that a total of 12,000 students and teachers in Japanese schools abroad need new computers or tablets and plans to start distributing them eventually from this fall, covering half of the costs. institutions.
For the project, the ministry has set aside 500 million yen ($ 4.6 million) in the proposed second supplementary budget for fiscal year 2020.
For a school to plan to install more than 50 computers, the government will send information and communication technology experts and pay half the costs.
A teacher gives an online lecture to students in Minoh, Osaka prefecture on April 20, 2020, as their school remains closed amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Kyodo)
The government will examine the academic effect of the project in around 30 schools and provide up to 6 million yen for trials such as joint online courses involving multiple schools, ministry officials said.
Globally, there are about 100 Japanese schools, where about 17,000 children are enrolled, according to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
At the end of April, around 13,000 of them were still staying abroad. But only about 30 percent of schools, including those in Beijing and Shanghai, resumed classes on May 28, according to the ministry.
Japanese schools in the United States, Italy and other parts of the world hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak are expected to remain closed for an extended period.
Due to travel restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic, many Japanese schools do not have enough teachers to conduct face-to-face lessons.
More than 90 percent of the roughly 500 teachers who were due to be sent to Japanese schools abroad in April, at the start of the country’s new school year, have still not arrived due to travel restrictions implemented in the country. world.
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