High hopes for special schools

Regarding the April 10 article “Ministry funds programs to hone high schoolers“: The idea of Japan’s education ministry injecting money into specially designated schools in line with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s growth strategy is an interesting one that, I believe, has a great deal of potential.

The Super Professional High Schools, dealing with fisheries and agriculture among other areas, will play an extremely important role in Japan’s future domestic growth, while those in the Super Global High School Program will have more of a role of engaging Japan with the rest of the world. These appear to be two different projects with, one would imagine, different needs in teaching students and running the programs.

Fishing has always been an integral part of Japanese life, yet these days it is becoming more and more difficult for fishermen to survive. This has been the subject of a number of recent NHK World documentaries, which have then gone on to show some of the very innovative ways people are finding to help not only to maintain their industry but also to make it more attractive to young people. The sustainability of industries such as fishing and horticulture are going to be key factors and will hopefully be a key factor of these programs.

With the Super Global High School Program, the key will be not only the curriculum at the high school level and the projects that the students are allowed to engage in but also the links between high schools and universities.

One needs to follow on from the other, ensuring that the ideas and opportunities presented to students in high school are then followed through at university. A program like Osaka University’s Cross-Border Innovation Program, for example, is a good example of how to truly engage students globally as they work to become leaders in their own field.

These new programs have great potential and will hopefully continue long past the designated three-to-five-year period.

dale down
mulgrave, australia

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.