GIGA Project - ICT capabilities of Japan’s education system
"We aim to realize an educational ICT environment optimized for each of the various children, including those who need special care, leaving no one behind, and to ensure further development of their abilities through the best mix of Japan’s long-standing accumulation of past educational practices and cuttingedge ICT technology. Through these measures, MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) also tries to reduce teachers’ burden for preparing classes and students’ assessments, and lead to workstyle reform at schools by promotion of adopting ICT system such as integrated support system for school affairs, as well as the realization of ‘1 computer per one student’."
The global GIGA initiative focuses mainly on low and middle-income countries – having commenced in Asia so far in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bhutan, Fiji, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu – and how it works with national governments to map connectivity within schools before devising a plan for improving connection and digital readiness. In contrast, Japan’s GIGA is tailored to its own aims for all students to have access to their own device, which has led to a push for school connectivity, as well as device distribution.
GIGA aims to aggregate demand for connectivity. It operates under four pillars, namely:
To map connectivity demand;
To improve financing through differing models for generating market interest and engagement;
To connect schools with safe, secure, reliable and fit-for-purpose infrastructure; and
To empower digital learning.
The survey revealed that almost all local governments are expected to take delivery of the necessary computer terminals by the end of the fiscal year. Furthermore, MEXT is working to provide information that will be of use to schools by issuing ‘Reference materials for the effective utilization of ICT’ and compiling good examples and practices for developing effective lesson plans using ICT. However, ‘digital readiness’ in terms of capacity to use ICT for content transmission and take-up is crucial and not yet receiving enough attention in Japan. The global GIGA team recognize, as elaborated during this study’s interview with representatives, that:
GIGA global brings focus specifically to internet connectivity and infrastructure, to prioritize a clear vision and the crucial elements for enabling its success; and
Yet, this is obviously not the ‘answer’ to ensuring that schools, teachers, students and communities access useful learning content.
Read more about GIGA project here
Research by CoLab; Packaged by CoLab; Used for Punjab education reform
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