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JANE presentation on new curriculum guidelines draft at Central Council for Education

On October 17th 2016, Mr. Koji Funatsu (Chairman and CEO, Transcosmos Inc., JANE Executive Officer and Leader of the Educational Reform Project Team) gave a presentation on a new curriculum guidelines draft at the Special Working Group on School Curriculum Planning of the Central Council for Education. The presentation mainly centered on English education, programming education, and entrepreneurship education. Several points were raised during the ensuing discussion with working group members, among which the following three were underlined: the importance of allowing pupils to have fun learning English at the primary school level; an emphasis on educational continuity from primary, middle and high school through to the university level; and the necessity of teaching programming skills in a simple, accessible way.
JANE intends to continue its close watch on the decision making process relating to school curriculum revisions.
   
   
<Summary of presentation>
Education constitutes the nation’s basic infrastructure and new curriculum guidelines should reflect global strategic perspectives.
The frequency of school curriculum revisions should be increased to keep up with rapid changes of the time. The perspectives of human resource development in view of the emerging trend of the Fourth Industrial Revolution should also be incorporated in school curricula.
JANE welcomes the proposal to make English an official school subject for fifth- and sixth-graders, and to lower the starting age of English lessons to third- and fourth-graders. Special attention should be paid to securing of sufficient class hours. English classes also need to incorporate teaching of practical skills such as logical discussion or effective presentation skills
In the area of programming education, the priority should be placed on the teaching of programming skills themselves, which requires the allocation of adequate time and setting of common targets.
Entrepreneurship education should be taught systematically with a focus on real life experiences in order to enhance students’ self esteem