Regarding the Jan. 30 Kyodo article “U.K. plan to limit Japanese worries language teachers“: While Japanese could be considered a luxury item on the curriculum, ironically, the same label could also be applied to subjects such as art, music, drama, dance and even English, science and math!
Can you still remember how to calculate the area of a circle? Well done if you can, but when was the last time you ever had to do so?
Although the fundamentals of core subjects are unquestionably applicable to many areas of our adult life, I would assert that a considerable chunk of what we teach the next generation is pointless and never used again.
When I was a lad, I studied the science of software engineering at a very reputable university. By the time I’d come to apply my knowledge, hardware and software had evolved to the point that my previous learning was practically extinct.
Still, a broad and rich curriculum offers more to our children than the stifled perceptions of current educational leaders who base their judgments on their view of a world that has already moved on without them. Leave Japanese alone, and tolerate professionals like me who teach it and the students who get so much out of learning it and everything it has to offer.
Remember, without “Weeaboos” (those obsessed with Japanese culture), you wouldn’t have that mobile phone in your pocket. Look out your window, walk down the street; the world has changed. Best not find yourself so elitist that you’re the new minority.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.