Japanese Schools Abroad To Get More PCs For Online Study As Pandemic Spreads

The government plans to provide more personal computers to Japanese schools abroad so that students can continue to study remotely at home while avoiding the coronavirus.

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 scope of the existing national initiative.

It is estimated that about 12,000 students and teachers in these schools need new PCs or tablets, and the government plans to start distributing them this fall, in addition to paying half the costs.

For schools that wish to add more than 50 computers, the government will send information and communication technology experts for the task and pay half the cost.

For the project, the ministry has set aside 500 million yen ($ 4.6 million) in the proposed second supplementary budget for fiscal year 2020. It will examine the academic effect of the project in around 30 schools and provide up to ‘to 6 million yen for trial. operations, 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.

Although about 13,000 of them were still operational at the end of April, only about 30%, including those in Beijing and Shanghai, had 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 pandemic are expected to remain closed even longer.

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 abroad in April, at the start of the school year, have not yet arrived due to travel restrictions implemented around the world for the virus.

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