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Can Educational Reforms Help Depressed Japanese Youth
Rise of the “Land of Sun” stunned the whole world by their rapid growth in every sphere even after the disaster of 2nd world war. Not just that the small island is very much prone to earthquake but nothing can break the spirit of the islanders, every time they fight back and win over all odds of nature.
The dream run of the Japanese economy was characterized by an export driven GDP growth, high savings and blooming entrepreneurship. An enthusiastic post war population, known as ‘bubble generation’, entered the workforce during this flourishing period. But as the economy started stagnating since the late 90s, the modern generations are finding it difficult to get suitable jobs.
Each year half a million students gets inducted into the potential workforce. After graduating from universities, they search for a decent job in the reputed Japanese companies. Job-hunting in Japan receives huge importance. The first step of the job seeker is to prepare a neat and perfect handwritten resume as Japanese believe that the personality and characteristic traits can be judged by observing the handwriting. Every candidate appears for the interview in strict black suits, the recommended interview-apparel for men and women in Japan. Some fortunate candidates succeed while most of them fail in the interview. Many eminent experts claim that this bleak scenario can be changed with proper educational reforms.
This depressed Japanese generation is known as ‘withdrawn generation’ who are extremely disappointed with their professional life. According to a recent survey, only 45.8 percent of the country’s youth said that they were happy with their lives. The statistical figure is quite alarming considering that the same survey reported that more than 72 percent of the South Koreans were content with their life. The number of Japanese students studying abroad has also decreased sharply in the recent years. It has fallen by nearly 30 percent between 2004 and 2012, as informed by the ministry of education, Japan.
It has been widely asserted that Japan requires new and reformative educational policy which would play a comprehensive role in shaping the careers of Japanese youth. Some of the useful measures that need to be taken are:
1. Introduction of English at primary level
In the 21st century, English has evolved as the most influential language in the world. In the era of globalization, students must be proficient in English in order to get recruited by the leading multi-national companies. Japanese students get to learn English when they are in the secondary schools. Introducing English in the primary school will ensure better English communication skills with better understanding of the language.
2. Emphasizing on practical knowledge
To cope up with the international students, the Japanese pupils need to develop practical and analytical skills. The educational reform must relieve the students from the burden of different entrance examinations and emphasizing on practical knowledge and expertise in the subject.
3. Increasing number of students studying abroad
The western universities are known to provide the best education in the world. Studying in these reputed institutions will not only enhance the skills and knowledge but will also help to regain confidence to compete against the best minds.
The whole education system in Japan needs to get diversified encouraging new thoughts and innovativeness. The public schools also need to take a pragmatic approach rather than to continue the ongoing conventional education system.
Shinzō Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, has taken extensive measures to revive the golden period of Japanese economy under the name of Abenomics. His fellow citizens hope that his education reforms will also herald a new era in the history of Japan.
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