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Dhaka Tribune

Ayman Sadiq shares what Bangladesh can learn from Japanese education

  • Ayman Sadiq recently visited Japan
  • Japan ensures ‘one device for one student’ in schools 
Update : 17 Nov 2023, 03:08 PM

When we discourage our children from using smartphones, Japan that boasts high quality basic education has integrated it in the system and ensured “one device for one student” in schools in an effort to personalize learning solutions.

Ayman Sadiq, famed for his 10-minute online school in Bangladesh, recently visited Japan at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to experience the education system, life and culture, and saw how the GIGA, Global Innovation Gateway for All, project was making a difference in their education.

He believed that it was possible to implement the model in Bangladesh, as he shared his seven-day experience in Japan at an event on Thursday night hosted by Japanese Ambassador Iwama Kiminori at his residence in Dhaka.

Education and sports are the favorite areas of Ayman, who has 6.8million Facebook followers and 2.1 million YouTube subscribers.

His visit was part of Japan's effort to enhance people-to-people connectivity, a priority of the Kishida administration in Tokyo following Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit in April when the bilateral relationship was elevated to a strategic level.

Ayman said in 2020, Japan started the GIGA project for ensuring one device for one student. In two-year time they made sure that each and every student has a device.

Then they have started doing something called the SAMR model with the S means substitution.

“So, you basically give an exam on a piece of paper. Now you give it on a digitized PDF. That's basically substitution. Then, comes the word A - augmentation.Augmentation means to give a big exam on a Google form, instead of paper, for instance. You can also know the marks if you have done it right or wrong.”

“The next stage is after you give the exam and they tell you whether or not you're right or wrong, and if you're wrong, they also tell you what to study next.And the last stage is basically collecting all the data from all the students around the entire Japanese education ecosystem and collecting their data and actually putting it in a big data system and giving all the students personalized learning solutions. So that is personalization at scale,” Ayman said.

“That's what we need right now in education. Every student is different. Every student should have a different learning path. And this personalization is very difficult to scale. They (Japan) have done or they're trying to do what we call it personalization at scale. So that's the ultimate model.”

Japan calls it soft, hard and people in its route to achieving this model.

“Soft means software. Hard means hardware and people mean people. So, they actually gave a triangle called the iron triangle - how they maintain and ensure the training system and the structure around it so that the software, hardware, and people can come together and make sure the project becomes successful,” he said.

“This is something that we can actually learn from the Japanese culture and they make sure they actually hit the targets within two years. That's something that I really learned and that's beyond the scope of me to implement that in a country like Bangladesh.”

“But I believe the education ministers and the ICT minister could get a fair share of good understanding and insights from it to implement it on the field line,” he said.

He has already shared his thoughts with Education Minister Dipu Moni, State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak, Deputy Minister for education Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury Nowfel after his return from Japan.

“It might sound very radical, but I'm not in favor of restricting our child from using cell phones. I'm in favor of teaching them how to use it,” he said, when asked about the use of smartphones by the children, which is often discouraged in Bangladesh.”

“For example, right now it's very easy to keep the phone away from your child, right? Because it's in a single device. You put the phone away, you feel like your child is safe. Right now, my watch also has an internet connection.

“After a few years your spectacles will also have internet connection. Everything would have internet connections, right? So, it will be insanely more difficult for parents to make their children away from interconnectivity and everything because it won't be possible in the near future, I believe in five years.

“So right now, I think keeping things away or restricting (children) from using smartphones or smart devices is not a long-term solution, it's a short-term solution.”

“I believe you have to give them understanding on how to use it properly. I think that's what the Japanese education system is trying to build on top of it. The moment you actually give students the access to devices, they know how to use it, and they also know the good things and the bad things out there,” Ayman said.

“So, I believe in order to make all the students ready for the 21st century skill sets that they are required to thrive in this ecosystem, I believe it's a mandatory thing,” he added .

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