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Tuesday, 7th September 2010
In General Japan News,

Education officials 'fatten' school books

Japan has taken the strange step of adding around 1,200 pages to textbooks amid concerns that the country's academic standards are slipping.

Recent international results have shown Japanese students being outperformed by pupils attending schools in South Korea and Hong Kong. Therefore, it is hoped that adding the new pages to elementary school books could improve results across the country, reports AP.

Hiroaki Mimizuka, a professor of education at Ochanomizu University in Tokyo, believes the move could be the start of ensuring better success rates for children.

He added:"With the year-by-year weakening of the competitiveness of our economy, there are serious concerns about whether our education system is working for a country with few natural resources, whose most valuable resources are its people."

The additional pages mean that textbooks for six years of elementary school will now be around 4,900 pages in total.

Last month, the Financial Times reported that reforms introduced by the Japanese government in 2002 to ease pressure on students may have contributed to a decline in international test results.


Written by Mark Smith

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