Panel targets English proficiency

Staff Report

An education ministry panel proposed Wednesday that local governments hire 600 foreigners and Japanese with excellent English-language skills nationwide as regular schoolteachers by the end of fiscal 2016 to enhance students’ English-language proficiency.

The 12-member panel suggested the state and local boards of education double the number of 18-year-old students who have studied or stayed abroad to around 30,000.

It also proposed that assistant language teachers participate in club and other activities to improve students’ English proficiency.

“To nurture Japanese who can truly use English, it is necessary to review once again the obstacles and policies on our nation’s English education,” the panel said in its proposal.