Tuesday,21 August, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1383, (1 - 7 March 2018)
Tuesday,21 August, 2018
Issue 1383, (1 - 7 March 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Learning the Japanese way

Mai Samih sees how Japan’s educational system can be applied to Egypt’s schools

 

Learning the Japanese way
Learning the Japanese way

Minister of Education Tarek Shawki headed to Japan earlier this week to see how the Tokkatsu Plus system is implemented in Japanese nurseries and primary schools. Tokkatsu Plus is the Japanese model of educating a child whereby education is not only about intellect but also emotional stability, values, attitudes and social skills. The tour aimed at seeing first-hand the practical implementation of the system and how it helps in building the personality of a Japanese citizen, Ministry of Education Spokesman Ahmed Khairy said in a press release on the ministry’s website.

Shawki’s visit, which included an official delegation, is part of an initiative to implement the Japanese teaching experience in a number of Egyptian schools. The plan was scheduled to begin this academic year but several glitches related to enrollment, inadequate training of teachers and the need to ensure the new schools maintained a high quality pushed the inauguration to next year.

“President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi postponed the opening of the schools so that the selection of students and teachers reaches the highest levels of transparency,” Shawki told a press conference in October last year.

“We want something we can be proud of for our children. It’s best to start correctly rather than experiment, otherwise people will become upset and say this is not what they expected,” Shawki had said.

In a press release issued last month Khairy announced that a committee formed to decide the criteria for choosing teachers for the Japanese schools had finished its work and an online competition will start by the end of the month. Jobs offered include head teachers, deputy heads, teachers and assistant teachers. “An applicant must fill in an online application, upload the required documents, and answer some questions to test his professionalism and skills,” Khairy said. How to choose the students is yet to be determined. 

Demand for the new schools is high. A total of 29,703 students applied last year.

The syllabi in these Japanese-based schools are the same as experimental language schools. The only difference is that the Tokkatsu Plus system is implemented in and outside of class in the form of activities.

It achieves its targets through group activities that the school organises, like sports and cultural days, teaching children personal hygiene, classroom cleanliness, organisation and taking turns in class responsibilities. This helps children to be considerate and enables them to accomplish certain tasks with the help of others. 

After the postponement of the opening of the new schools, students who were accepted were sent back to their original schools. Pupils about to enter kindergarten were transferred to the closest government experimental schools.

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