In this Global age, of fast growing Asia, with expectation of great change ahead, education in Japan has ‘more than enough’ of problems.
Since the major work force in academic, political, and industrial arena of Japan today are comprised of those who went through the conventional school system, having spent the 20 years of Japan ‘bashing→passing →nothing→missing’ time period with people who experienced the golden age of high economic growth of 60s to 90s, I can not but help suspecting they hardly recognize the fundamentals of education reform towards the global age.
In comparison to the population, number of Japanese people having been educated in overseas universities (undergraduate) is too small. I presume also that there are only but few who got into (overseas) graduate schools through official entrance exams, finished full courses and graduated. This goes particularly for male students most of whom are likely to have earned MBA under the support of ‘dispatch’ program of ‘institutions’ such as companies or government offices.
True that there were some historical backgrounds uniqe to Japan of education system , but still, Japan among growing Asian countries has exceptionally smaller number of people in comparison to its population who have gone through overseas (US and UK) higher education or who have been at ‘Boarding Schools’ (in US and UK) where ‘elites’ are nurtured. And yet, the so called ‘leaders’ of Japan preach us ‘the vision for education’ in high pitch.
Of course, top universities of Japan are quite good. However, even today, the ‘elites’ in Japan (in politics, enterprises, governments ? and I wonder how things are at universities…) do not have good command of spoken English, and to be honest with you, generally speaking their ‘passion’ is weaker than the elites from China or Korea not to speak of their ability to appeal themselves and sending out messages at international arenas.
At Doha we had sessions on ‘Education’, and it was quite clear that every country was very serious about nurturing/educating next generation, thus prepared for the global age. All were fully aware that the issues they face were different from those in the conventional education of the past.
In this sense, the message on education by Queen Rania of Jordan was wonderfully focused on its essence. I urge you to listen to her on web (資料１). She was without doubt one of the most wonderfully influential and committed person in this forum.
May 30 – June 2 columns in the blog of Dr. Yoko Ishikura are also a very good source of additional information to what I have reported in this ‘Doha, Qatar series’ postings. By all means, I recommend that you visit her site.