Japan’s Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry is targeting reintroducing Saturday classes for public primary, middle and high schools across the country on a monthly basis. To encourage the schools to invite instructors from their local communities to teach the children, they are establishing a subsidy program.
Under the program which will start by the next academic year, the state will cover one-third of the costs of the school’s Saturday classes, which includes the instructors’ fees, fees for liaisons for the instructors and the materials to be used in the classes. Around 4,000 primary schools, 2,000 middle schools and 700 high schools are estimated to be eligible for the subsidy. In addition to that, the ministry will also be providing a subsidy starting next year to 6,700 schools, which is about 20% of all public schools in Japan. This will cost ¥2 billion (approx. $20.4 million), which they will request from the national budget by next fiscal year.
The plan is for the Saturday classes to be taught by company employees, public servants and other people from the local communities, so the students will have the chance to learn from outside of their normal curriculum in what will be called “comprehensive studies”. They will also be offering English and supplementary classes for other subjects to further enhance their ability. The ministry will also be choosing 350 model schools to test the curriculum that will be developed for the program. They will be conducting a survey to see which of the schools will be interested for the pilot program wherein they will have to hold classes one Saturday a month. The ministry will then evaluate and examine the curriculum as well as the students’ achievements.
[ via Yomiuri ]
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