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November 30, 2009

No funding for public elementary school English materials?

eigonoto.jpegIt seems likely that funding for 'Eigo Noto', the material being used for English courses at public elementary schools, will be stopped. A government unit that was set up to reduce government waste has come out against the project. The Ministry of Education requested 850 million yen to pay for the materials, but this was rejected.

'Eigo Noto' was developed to try and help give teachers and schools more direction. It has been praised for its use of electronic blackboard technology, but has also received much criticism for lacking a coherent syllabus and feeling too Japanese. It also reflects the much criticized government guideline against teaching any reading and writing.

The Daily Yomiuri reported that, 'members of the Government Revitalization Unit's screening team came out against the project, even raising the fundamental question of why English should be taught at primary schools. Some said the material should be digitized so schools could print the materials.'

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