Big data, Japan and education

I like data. And I like data when it is big.

The Ministry of Education, Sports, Culture and Science and Technology (MEXT) in Japan announced that it will promote the use of big data. According to a source quoted in an article in today’s Japan News only 6.8 percent of 1,100 companies surveyed said they utilise big data. And 40 percent of those companies that use big data see developing human resources for this an issue.

Japan lags behind other countries in utilising big data even though it is an ideal country for it being one of the most connected countries in the world.

Japanese primary schools to teach 285 English words in 2011

From the Yomiuri Shimbun (copied and pasted due to lack of archive)

Fifth- and sixth-year primary school students will learn a total of 285 English words and 50 expressions in compulsory English classes to be introduced in the 2011 school year, the Education, Science and Technology Ministry said Thursday.

The students are expected to learn the words and expressions with textbooks compiled by the ministry titled “Eigo Noto,” (English Notes), according to ministry officials. The 50 expressions are currently taught in the first year of middle school. The ministry has distributed a preliminary version of the textbooks–one each for fifth-graders and sixth-graders–to about 550 schools nationwide to be used on a trial basis in the school year that started this month.

Continue reading