Regarding the Jan. 19 Kyodo article “Todai panel recommends fall enrollment (within five years)“: I think this reform will have good effects on Japan. The movement toward fall enrollment by one of Japan’s most prestigious universities will influence other institutions and motivate them to offer classes that can compete worldwide. The system will also encourage the mutual exchange of students.
I do have concern about education quality, though. In 2001, English education was introduced into Japanese elementary schools as part of globalization. I think this decision by the education ministry was premature. My mother, a teacher at the time, said many elementary schools could not adequately prepare for introducing the program because many Japanese teachers could not speak enough English to teach their classes, and were not able to gather assistant language teachers, especially in the countryside.
I suppose that a fall admission system could lead to similar cases of unpreparedness. I heard that in one of the classes that are conducted in English at a certain university, the Japanese professor had to stop the class many times to look up unknown words in a dictionary. This is just an example, but I don’t think people can master a foreign language in only a few years while managing their other tasks. My hope is that universities won’t fail to keep or enrich the quality of Japanese education.
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.
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