SEEKING TO BUILD JAPAN INTO A HUMAN-RESOURCES POWER
Today, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, through the development and spread of information & telecommunications technologies led by the Internet, in diverse areas of society, computerization and globalization are progressing rapidly. With this great change of the times, the abilities required of the children who will lead the next generation are also changing rapidly.
Under the government's e-Japan Priority Policy Program it is stated that by FY05 more or less all public schools will be placed in an environment that allows continuous connection to a high-speed Internet, and through children's enhancement of their respective abilities, for
example, Japan aims to become a human-resources power. Whatever the era, the development of next-generation human resources is a major issue that should be tackled on a national level, but under the prevailing circumstances this requires a major qualitative change in these efforts.
CHANGING SCHOOLS, AND THE INTERNET AND
IT THAT ACCELERATE THIS CHANGE
At the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology, last year the study guidelines were revised and, with the aim of nurturing the practical ability necessary for the twenty-first century a general studies period was established. In addition, this year, the subject Information has been established in high schools to promote education for living in an advanced information society and leading that society.
However, on the other hand, with regard to LAN construction in classrooms results have been released that, compared with 77% in the United States and 100% in Korea, Japan scores only 8.3%. (N1), way behind other advanced countries. Also with respect to Internet use, results have also emerged that more than 50%children s of till have no experience of exchange/joint study through the Internet, 8% have exchange with overseas and less than 2% have exchange with working members of society outside school. (N2)
THE FUNCTION OF SOCIETY AND INDUSTRY
It is imperative that society and industry, and especially companies, make use of the properties of the Internet to communicate to schools and children the state of the most advanced IT applications and the educational resources and content that companies possess. The timely communication of real society to the children who will lead the next generation is an important social function. In addition, software in the broad sense using the Internet (educational programs) are only effective with the cooperative involvement of schools, companies, government, self-governing bodies, residents and others, as opposed to being closed within schools. It is partnerships between schools and society and industry that will constitute the next big breakthrough.
AS A MEDIUM LINKING SCHOOLS AND THE WORLD
We would like to fully leverage these networks and partnerships to conduct activities to promote education. The greatest feature of the Internet of providing links that transcend time and place will connect schools and the world outside schools to create a new educational environment. Through this "new classroom," children will develop creativity, autonomy and international awareness, while gathering, sharing and communicating information and knowledge.
We have established the Japan Association for Promotion of Internet Application in School Education (JAPIAS) and would like to assume an important role as a medium linking schools and the world. These activities will contribute to the development of the human resources that will lead the future not only of Japan but also the world, and to achieve this objective and to ensure the continuity of the project, as a special non-profit corporation, we are asking for the support and participation of many people from diverse fields.
N1. Internet White Paper 2002 Attachment 3-1-32
N2. Internet White Paper 2002 Attachment 3-1-9