Twenty-twenty was not a year most will remember fondly. It was a year of hard lessons for everyone from companies to schools. The way life was conducted had to be rethought radically and it exposed some rather glaring weaknesses in infrastructure. But despite the hardships and the growing laxness in vigilance born of long term restrictions there is a silver lining to all of this.
In country, the increase in people monitoring their health and prioritizing vaccination has led to a drastic drop in cases of influenza. Worldwide the number has also decreased proving that when the luxury of safety is taken away even the most stoic antivaxxers will do the reasonable thing. In the school system this has also led to teachers and students alike favoring being safe and staying home at the onset of a mild fever over toughing it out and coming to school which is the typical reaction.
Though it may seem counter productive to the educational process, taking a day off when not feeling 100% allows students the time to recover and study properly upon returning rather than further risking their health and only studying at half capacity.
Within the same vein of thought, when students for whatever reason face long term absence from school how can teachers maintain some level of education? Until now the only real solution was to mail school work to the student, but with more schools adopting tablet technology school work can reach students and if needed talk with teachers face to face. Of course when a new system like this is introduced there is a period of adjustment for both students and teachers, but once implemented allows the educational process to continue unhindered even if another pandemic, or as recently happened natural disasters, should occur.
Last year first year junior high school students started using tablets in class. And while the results have been both more and less than expected, the process of streamlining it has led to next year’s new first year high school students to start using tablets as well.
Again the process is still new and there will be bumps along the way, but once it is up and running new avenues of education will open for students and teachers. So despite being a year of challenge, in its own way 2020 brought forth a necessary kick to jump start the process of updating the Japanese school system. Look for new things from Nihon Gakuen in the coming academic year.