What is a Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s “Future Classrooms” demonstration project and overseas demonstration project?
In this age of competition in skills development aimed at producing creative, problem-solving human resources (changemakers), “Learning Innovation” using innovative skills development techniques (EdTech) is being rolled out globally. Using EdTech, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) is developing and demonstrating a new learning program that combines efficient acquisition of knowledge with cultivation of the ability to identify creative challenges and solutions, with a focus on the three pillars of individually-optimized learning, integration of liberal arts and science (STEAM) and solutions to societal challenges, in order to achieve Future Classrooms designed for proactive learning.
In 2020, METI commissioned Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) to carry out a Future Classrooms demonstration project abroad with the aim of establishing and identifying the challenges of an effective global expansion model for Japanese EdTech firms.
”Future Classrooms” Demonstration Project
Digital educational tools platform Libry Co., Ltd., which was selected for this project in 2020, has shared their efforts and achievements in the Philippines and tips for the global roll-out using digital educational tools
Libry is a digital educational tools platform with efficient and effective learning functions based on learning components and learning history, such as “Search Problems” and “Recommend Problems,” that has digitalized existing textbooks and workbooks. Libry contributes to work-style reforms for teachers by providing management tools for teachers to check students’ learning history and distribute, collect and tally homework assignments.
Libry’s origins lie in an awareness of the educational disparities linked to where children are born and brought up, hence the company’s corporate vision: “Creating a society where every individual can realize his or her full potential.” Libry’s services are currently available only in Japan, but it aims to expand abroad in future.
This demonstration project was conducted in the Philippines in collaboration with Shinkoshuppansha Keirinkan Co., Ltd., a textbook publishing company with a long history of support for education in Japan, and e-Education, a specially certified NPO closely involved in educational support for developing countries. （https://prtimes.jp/main/html/rd/p/000000015.000054682.html）
Education in the Philippines faces the following challenges.
Lack of paper-based learning materials in schools
In many schools, especially public high schools, not enough paper textbooks are available to give each student a textbook.
Due to the huge number of students, many teachers are in charge of multiple grades and work a double-shift system. Every teacher has an enormous workload.
Low academic ability of students especially in science and mathematics
Due to the impact of Covid-19, nationwide restrictions in the Philippines barred everyone under the age of 21 from going out and children were unable to attend school, necessitating changes to the initial activity plan. However, for one month from mid-October, Libry was used by students at the pilot junior high school for home study. A mathematics test was held at the end of the demonstration period.
In the demonstration project, Libry provided learning materials produced by Keirinkan in line with the Philippine curriculum with the aim of improving the quality and efficiency of students’ self-learning and solving the above problems.
The Philippines ranked 77th*¹ out of 78 countries and regions in the field of mathematical literacy in PISA 2018, the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment in 2018.