Regional disparities are narrowing in the academic achievements of final-year students at elementary and junior high schools in Japan, reflecting significant performance improvements in low-ranking prefectures, recent national examinations revealed Monday.
According to the achievement exams conducted in April by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Okinawa Prefecture advanced to sixth place from last year's 47th of all 47 prefectures in the average score on basic understanding of arithmetic.
Part A of the exams evaluated basic understanding of the subject, while part B gauged the ability of students to apply knowledge in a practical way.
Sixth graders in Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture, raised their rankings by more than 10 places in all subjects, reflecting improvements in school classes.
New textbooks authorized for use in Japan's senior high schools from April next year contain more descriptions on foreign and defense policies undertaken by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government, such as the ability to engage in collective self-defense, according to the results of the education ministry's latest textbook screening disclosed Friday. (Japan Today)
A certified private nursery in Hyogo Prefecture that was found to be secretly accepting more children than its designated capacity had also been docking the pay of teachers who came in late by ¥10,000, according to the prefectural government. (Japan Times)
Japan is laying the groundwork for a free education programme for some households that will cover a student's costs from pre-school to college to ensure the country maintains a highly-skilled workforce. (dailymail.co.uk)
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has congratulated a graduating class at a junior high school in the city of Miyako in Iwate Prefecture in northeastern Japan. The region was hit hard by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. (NHK)