English has been proposed by Japan’s government officials to be upgraded as official course at elementary school. The plan is part of an effort to better prepare students for an international business experience.
In 2011 a one-hour-a-week English course has been introduced for fifth and sixth graders in Japan. However, the panel headed by Waseda University President Kaoru Kamata said the class hour should be extended, as children in and below fourth grade should learn English better, according to Kyodo news agency.
The Central Education Council, an advisory body to the education minister, will examine the proposals, submitted to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. However, they will have to solve various challenges, like securing teachers who can teach English at elementary level.
The panel also proposed creating several “Super Global High Schools” throughout Japan, with mathematics and science courses being taught in English.
Other measures proposed by the panel include asking Japanese universities to set up overseas bases to attract more foreign students.