— Latest update: July 2023 —
Japan may enjoy an international reputation for innovation, but this does not extend to the educational sector at large. Digital education technology has remained a backup in Japan, which has a hard time catching up with most of the developed world when it comes to adapting technology to meet the needs of a modern classroom. The worldwide pandemic brought the lack of accessibility to online classes for Japanese students to light. Indeed, only 5 % of Japanese children had access to interactive online education during the period of school closure. Before the pandemic, Japan ranked the lowest in computer usage for schoolwork outside school in the developed world. The main concern brought up by teachers in the field of online education is the lack of equity as not all students have access to both a computing device and reliable internet service.
Amid the pandemic the world has faced in the last years, the Japanese government has introduced several measures to modernize its education system for public elementary and junior high schools as well as for international students. The potential for those reforms extends to reconfiguring the role of education in Japanese society. Japan’s online education is no exception to the rule, and is undoubtedly a market to keep an eye on.
In addition, the e-learning language sector, especially English and Japanese, is also promising. The former is due to the economic privileges and status associations inside Japanese business and society; the latter is for Japanese culture's vast popularity and attractiveness. Overall, the foreign language instruction business in Japan – spanning from online learning to language testing and study abroad - was worth about $8.76 billion as of 2021.
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