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Kyoto families angered by new policy forcing high school students to buy tablets at own expense

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By Krista Rogers, SoraNews24

Beginning with the 2022 academic year, the Kyoto Prefectural Board of Education will require students entering public prefecturally administered high schools to purchase electronic tablets, expected to cost somewhere in the range of 60,000-70,000 yen, and pay for them out of pocket. Because high school is not part of compulsory education in Japan, even at public schools tuition is charged, and families have begun to voice their frustration at the added financial burden.

“We feel nothing but anger. Who has the money for this after the economic impact of the coronavirus?” noted one parent in the reader’s column of Kyoto Shimbun. “My husband’s monthly salary is around 300,000 yen and my part-time job brings in another 50,000 yen,” another parent detailed. “We have two children and are paying for cram school as well. This added burden is causing deep stress. Just entering high school is already said to cost 200,000-300,000 yen for uniforms, textbooks, bags, and commuter passes alone. Why can’t they use tablets that we already own, or select ones that cost no more than 20,000 yen?”

Other concerns voiced at an ad hoc committee meeting in March included ambiguity about families without Wi-Fi at home and unease that the policy would further highlight economic disparities among students.

In fact, there is currently a national directive in the works for every prefectural high school student to be equipped with an electronic device. Unlike with elementary and junior high school students, there is no national budgetary provision for such devices for high school students. Therefore, it is up to each local government as to whether to use public funds for the acquisition of devices or whether the bill is to be footed by families. According to a survey distributed by MEXT in January and February, 12 prefectures have so far indicated plans to pay for devices using public funds while 15 will require families to pay at their own expense.

In the 2021 academic year, five prefectural high schools in Kyoto have already implemented the tablet requirement as part of the first wave of schools. The following is the specific breakdown of expenses that was distributed to all matriculating students at these five schools:

  1. 10.2-inch iPad (8th Generation) Wi-Fi 32GB: 34,760 yen

  2. Keyboard and case: 9,790 yen

  3. Applications and installation fees: 8,470 yen

  4. Extended warranty (1 year): 4,400 yen

  5. Tablet maintenance (1 year): 1,980 yen

  6. Stylus pen: 8,690 yen

With strict instructions for families to purchase an 8th-generation iPad specifically, that brings the total financial burden per matriculating student to 68,090 yen.

Also for consideration: the combined cost of the supplementary fees is almost as much as the cost of the tablet itself.

In contrast, the Hiroshima Prefectural Board of Education also enacted the requirement for all prefectural high schools this academic year with clear provisions for payment-free options for low-income households and have budgeted financial support for applications from 2,700 families. Similarly, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Board of Education will begin requiring tablets for prefectural high school students in the 2022 academic year at families’ expense. However, in their case, the Board will present a variety of device models and leave the specific choice of model up to each school.

So far the Kyoto Prefectural Board of Education has responded to widespread concerns by stating that they are currently developing their own system for low-income households to rent tablets or pay for them using interest-free loans. Their justifications for requiring students to provide their own tablets is that there are now more opportunities for high school students to study at home using tablets than ever before, they can accumulate their study notes on a single device over three years and continue to access them after graduation, and free applications can replace separate purchases (e.g., using free downloadable language software rather than purchasing a separate electronic dictionary). In addition, they have already observed hurdles for those students using tablets that they already own–including screen size issues, connectivity issues to Wi-Fi at school (forcing them to pay for additional Internet fees), and having issues installing applications on their own.

Hopefully the prefecture can reach equitable solutions to these potential problems in the near future, without taking too much of a one-size-fits-all approach.

Sources: Kyoto Shimbun via Yahoo! Japan News via Hachima Kiko

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© SoraNews24

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112 Comments
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Another financial burden imposed on families that can ill afford it, but good news profitable large companies are getting government money. And really I guess the thinking is if they can’t afford it, they don’t deserve it (education).

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Just 32GB ?? And what are these extra fees???

The local officials have been smoking something stronger than Camel, that's for sure.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

If you dig deep in to this you will find that someone linked to the electronics industries has lobbied A Kyoto Prefectural Board of Education member or members and PAID a kick back to pass this policy, GUARANTEED.

23 ( +23 / -0 )

They forgot to write that the students have to purchase a 20.000 yen dictionary set application. Also all pads are LTE versions as the school's don't have WiFi. This is all the result of good salesmen and an ignorant board of education. My son hasn't used his keyboard in the two years he's been "using" his iPad.

Japan's education's costs are based on relations between great salesmen and ignorant schools. The bags, uniforms, sneakers, hats, pen cases, etc are all to be purchased at the same stores. Little shops who rake in money doing nothing but sell to parents.

25 ( +25 / -0 )

Why can’t they use tablets that we already own, or select ones that cost no more than 20,000 yen?”

exactly. They should not have to purchase those out of their own pockets. IF the kyoto gov insists on a certain tablet, they have to provide it.

With strict instructions for families to purchase an 8th-generation iPad specifically, 

why? SOMEONE is profiting off of this for sure.

Other concerns voiced at an ad hoc committee meeting in March included ambiguity about families without Wi-Fi at home and unease that the policy would further highlight economic disparities among students.

S Korea has a national Wi-fi where EVERYONE in the country is connected. They should do that here too.

KT to expand South Korea's free public Wi-Fi availability | ZDNet

13 ( +13 / -0 )

“This added burden is causing deep stress. Just entering high school is already said to cost 200,000-300,000 yen for uniforms, textbooks, bags, and commuter passes alone. Why can’t they use tablets that we already own, or select ones that cost no more than 20,000 yen?”

Thank You Very Much, I thought I was alone when I had to pay over 200,000 jpy for each child just to enter H. School, and there was NOTHING I could do about it, it made my blood boil. the school has decided where the uniform, the shoe, the tie, the club uniforms, the school bag should be purchased at, with a kick back from the shop owner of course, even down to the color their underwear. you can't choose anything on your own.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Someone’s ‘milking the extra teats’:

- “Applications and installation fees: 8,470 yen; Extended warranty (1 year): 4,400 yen;” ...

Tablet maintenance? (1 year): 1,980 yen

5 ( +7 / -2 )

If these items are necessary for the students education then the gov / BoE / schools should have to provide them to all students.

Students don’t have to buy their own desks and chairs. It sounds like the schools are saying these devices are to be considered part of the classroom infrastructure - therefore they should be provided.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

The education authority can make a deal with Apple which also provide a reduction for students. 32GB is too small. The iPads come with apps already installed. Over charging. All families on a low income should receive assistance.

Uniforms are too expensive.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

If all of the Kyoto families just simply do not comply, then problem solved.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

All this on top of mandatory expenses for “white cotton ‘pantsu’” and “black hair dye”. Adds more “injury to insults”.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Little joey says describes it in detail but there is lots of racketeering about what kids need for school in Japan. Uniforms and sportswear for school PE and sports clubs are the classic one, but it sounds like these tech supplies are the same.

20,000 yen for dictionary software that will be obsolete in a few years, cannot be handed down to siblings, and cannot be resold is especially extortionate.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Lets assume they can justify making the families pay for the tablets, how do they justify making a requirement the one that makes the less sense economically? Even if they were paid by public funds it would be bad enough, but to make the families do it out of their own pockets?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

S Korea has a national Wi-fi where EVERYONE in the country is connected. They should do that here too.

and does south korea give the tablet for free to everyone as well? Without the device the wi-fi is useless. Right?

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

"S Korea has a national Wi-fi where EVERYONE in the country is connected."

You forgot to add on public transit

SOUTH KOREA BLANKETS COUNTRY WITH FREE WIFI ON ALL PUBLIC TRANSIT

https://hackaday.com/2021/01/09/south-korea-blankets-country-with-free-wifi-on-all-public-transit/

It said nothing about homes.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

and does south korea give the tablet for free to everyone as well?

No, but they are not the ones DEMANDING that the students pay for the most expensive iphones, ARE THEY??

Without the device the wi-fi is useless. Right?

Wrong. Everyone has a smartphone nowadays. In fact they don't need those ipads at all. They do everything from their cheap smartphones.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It said nothing about homes.

In 1995, South Korea had only one internet user for every hundred citizens. In that year, though, their government initiated the Korean Information Infrastructure project—a 10-year program that started with laying internet infrastructure between government buildings and rolled out country-wide broadband by 1998. By the year 2000, South Korea had connected nearly 20 million of its 45 million citizens—more than Japan (pop. in 2000: 127 million) or France (62 million), and almost as many as China (1.25 billion).

Today, thanks in large part to the government’s infrastructure and education initiatives the overwhelming majority of South Korea’s population has internet access. The government’s timely and well-executed internet policies gave it a huge head start, and they are continuing to pay off.

Five reasons South Korea has the fastest internet | IDG Connect

One more time

a 10-year program that started with laying internet infrastructure between government buildings and rolled out country-wide broadband by 1998. By the year 2000, South Korea had connected nearly 20 million of its 45 million citizens—more than Japan (pop. in 2000: 127 million) or France (62 million), and almost as many as China (1.25 billion).

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Smartphone screens are too small for working all day.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Smartphone screens are too small for working all day.

Zichi, I have a phablet. They are ok.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Sponsored by Apple, no doubt.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Aly Rustom 

Smartphone screens are too small for working all day.

Zichi, I have a phablet. They are ok.

There are no smartphones suitable for schooling all day. Strain on the eyes and thumbs. Which phablet do you have? Most students don't have one. I have a phone with a 6.6" screen and do a lot on it but too small for all day

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There are no smartphones suitable for schooling all day. Strain on the eyes and thumbs.

Kids are ALREADY on their smartphones 24 7 ANYWAY. What difference does it make? If they can spend hours on social media they certainly can do their homework with it.

Which phablet do you have? Most students don't have one. I have a phone with a 6.6" screen and do a lot on it but too small for all day

I have the iphone XS Plus

I have done work on it all day last year when we had the real SOE. It worked fine.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Keyboard and case: 9,790 yen

Definitely overpriced.

Applications and installation fees: 8,470 yen

Are there no satisfactory free applications? Who gets paid for installing those apps?

Extended warranty (1 year): 4,400 yen

Does this cover the cost of broken screens?

Tablet maintenance (1 year): 1,980 yen

What maintenance apart from cleaning? There is a guarantee.

Stylus pen: 8,690 yen

Is that so much better than one from Daiso, ¥110?

Someone must be getting a kickback.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

10.2-inch iPad (8th Generation) Wi-Fi 32GB: 34,760 yen

Can find something much, much cheaper. Go for another cheaper/generic model and give other choices.

Keyboard and case: 9,790 yen

Case should be optional. If it breaks the parents have to pay for another one.

Applications and installation fees: 8,470 yen

Apps should be free and "installation fees" = BS.

Extended warranty (1 year): 4,400 yen

OPTIONAL. The school board isn't even paying for these. The PARENTS are.

Tablet maintenance (1 year): 1,980 yen

No.

Stylus pen: 8,690 yen

Well, maybe. But you can find one for half that price if it's isn't iPad.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How much extra for some ANTI-Bullying app?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is ridiculous, that is a serious financial burden to be imposing on parents for another stupid screen to look at. If I was in Kyoto and I had to get this for my kids I'd be massively pissed off.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Sponsored by Apple, no doubt.

Probably.

This was tried back in the late 80s early 90s in North America by Apple but it failed miserably.

Schools got free Apple computers with the school systems justifying the deal by saying students would come out of school with computer knowledge.

Only problem was that well over 90% of businesses, government offices, etc...used Windows.

Next the students found out how expensive it was to buy Apple once they left school.

So in the end they had to learn windows and bought windows OS PC's instead once they left school.

My Daughter has multiple computers because of her work, this includes an iPad that mostly sits around collecting dust as it is basically a glorified toy.

Work is done most on Windows OS machines or tablets.

This is plain reality and I know the Apple crowed will come back with some irrelevant story about how they use iPad at work daily but go into any office and take a look around and see what is the standard.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I don't get the need for the 8th generation iPad.

Unless Apple has changed it policy older iPads can't upgrade the OS to the latest for the most part, so a 6th generation will easily run any app the 8th gen can once the updated OS is installed.

These students are not going bro be running any high speed CPU AI or pro gaming Apps.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I am okay with the requirement ! Even if 70K.

I am just not okay with the apple iPad bit. The schools should run on open platforms

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The current iOS 14 can be used on iPads back to iPad Air 2, 2014.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As much as I love iPads this is insane. Families shouldn’t have to pay for this. Also, why only iPads? There should be options.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Absolute lunacy!

Just make the online learning available through a standard HTML5 website. That way students and parents can choose the most appropriate device for their circumstances.

I smell a significant number of comissions and kick backs here.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Also, why only iPads? There should be options.

The answer is a simple one this is Japan and conformity is the only real rule for most things.

Converting the apps to Android or even Windows OS would be simple.

But imagine how it would "Look" someone like my daughter that is an IT freak and could code since she was 8 would show up with a Surfacebook, others with ¥15,000 Android tablets ( and yes there are really good ones at that price even lower) other with older hand-me-down iPad their parents had.

And this would first totally confused all the oyaji and obasan teachers who will probably already be struggling with just the iPad ( if it goes like it was when my children were in high school the students will need to help the teachers) next the uniforms, often identical school bags and oh the horror the would have different looking tablets.

Some oyaji from the education board will see this and have a stroke.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Why does it have to be an Apple brand? Seems like someone stands to get some kickback from the purchases! A windows tablet is just as good! Dare I even say.....better...... in many aspects?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

More fees during a pandemic when people and families are struggling financially and mentally. Not the brightest idea.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Why does it have to be an Apple brand? Seems like someone stands to get some kickback from the purchases! A windows tablet is just as good! Dare I even say.....better...... in many aspects?

Of course someone is getting a kickback this is Japan.

And yes a windows tablet would be way more versatile.

But anything an iPad can do using apps can be done on a far cheaper Android tablet for under half the price of the cheapest Apple.

These apps they plan on using are not NASA rocket guidance systems, they can easily be converted to Android using a conversion program.

But this tells us everything we need to know about how clueless those in charge are.

installation fees:

Why do they think someone needs to install the apps for the students?

Because the oyaji and obasan teachers and school board people themselves can't without help so think students can't, when bin reality the students could do it in their sleep.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

More fees during a pandemic when people and families are struggling financially and mentally. Not the brightest idea.

We can add it to the list along with holding the Olympics during a pandemic, Abenomask, SOE that is not really a SOE ( strange how our Ward office no one is teleworking), little or no support for the workers of the businesses that are closed during the SOE, Go to travel, Go to eat, giant concrete Squids, etc...

If there is a bit bright idea then one can be assured the various levels of the Japanese government will surely go for it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Why does it have to be an Apple brand? Seems like someone stands to get some kickback from the purchases!

That exactly popped up in my mind. You'd cut the whole price by more than half.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The stylus costing 9000 yen is a pressure sensitive one, whose nib is replaceable but is also expensive. Simple press-the-button type input could be done with a finger or 100 yen store stylus. The only reason you would need this is for art work or calligraphy (inc. kanji) on the tablet itself. The same work could easily be done on paper.

It should also be noted regarding these tablets that the Ministry for Education has come out recently and said it will not recognize online classes as "attending school" on school reports of individual kids. Some high schools have gone online during the pandemic, and the workaround they have used is not counting days with online classes as "absences". The reason this matters is that close to one in twenty kids habitually does not go to school, for bullying and other reasons. Letting them watch a livestream of a class on the tablet they've had to buy would let them study at home and still be marked as attending.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Their justifications for requiring students to provide their own tablets is that [...] they can accumulate their study notes on a single device over three years and continue to access them after graduation

Hands up if you ever referred to notes taken in high school after graduation.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Hands up if you ever referred to notes taken in high school after graduation.

Ok now me.

Hands up if you and your friends had a bonfire party burning your high school notebook, etc...after graduation.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@kohakuebisu

The Japanese school system is so messed up and has been for decades.

Students are noted as being absent without reason if they are sick even with a doctor's note only exception is if they have a positive influenza test.

I found this out when my son underwent a 3rd emergency surgery.

The school ( public) told me if he missed anymore days he wouldn't be able to graduate because being hospitalised wasn't influenza so counted a absence without reason.

The lack of logic is beyond belief.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Japan's education's costs are based on relations between great salesmen and ignorant schools. The bags, uniforms, sneakers, hats, pen cases, etc are all to be purchased at the same stores. Little shops who rake in money doing nothing but sell to parents.

There's a fancy private school (Doshisha) near my home station and none of the kids wear uniforms. I was surprised as in my home country (Europe) private school = fancy uniforms. My Japanese partner said that expensive schools never have uniforms because they don't need the money from them. "huh?".

"Well, smaller schools make deals with uniform shops and they get a percentage of the profit. That's how it works. Private schools just get donations from parents and demand high tuition fees."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sponsored by Apple, no doubt.

Mikitani should be all over this setting up all kids with some kind of Rakuten mobile tablet.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yet, if you ask a Japanese politician, public education is free in Japan, right?

With ridiculously overpriced school fees, ridiculously overpriced uniforms, ridiculously overpriced school bags, ridiculously overpriced school club equipment, ridiculously overpriced textbooks and more, this so-called ‘free public education’ costs families ¥1-2 million yen per year, per child. Free public education? My foot it is!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Whats crazy is that these kids probably already own a smartphone or already have a pc or laptop at home. So, its not just the cost, but also the constant need to be around electronic devices all day. Sure, high school might not be compulsory in Japan, but free public high school education should be a right.

Its looking like the ipad is the new randoseru for senior high students.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

no komento again.completely no komento...its just crazy

2 ( +2 / -0 )

32GB is zero these days.

you can buy a higher speed 128gB, 5G, superior Chinese model for ¥28960.

the fact that they are requiring this suggests that the pandemic is just beginning and students will be forced to study in their apartments for maybe the next two years?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Aly Rustom

I still disagree wit you.

There are no smartphones suitable for schooling all day. Strain on the eyes and thumbs.

Kids are ALREADY on their smartphones 24 7 ANYWAY. What difference does it make? If they can spend hours on social media they certainly can do their homework with it.

It's not about doing homework. It's also about using them in school, and at home for home teaching if and when required.

Which phablet do you have? Most students don't have one. I have a phone with a 6.6" screen and do a lot on it but too small for all day

I have the iphone XS Plus

Most teens could not afford that one. iPhone XS 64GB ¥128,000 plus plan with provider. More expensive than an iPad.

I have done work on it all day last year when we had the real SOE. It worked fine.

Still not suitable for teaching students.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If paying ¥68,000 for a tablet is a burden for one of the school materials, why do they keep sending their kids to juku? Why insist in sending them to HS? Even better, why having kids at all if can't afford them? These 'struggling' people should reevaluate their lives instead.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

I still disagree wit you.

That's fine zichi, I don't get offended by people not agreeing with me- just the ones who are disrespectful and that is certainly not you.

It's not about doing homework. It's also about using them in school, and at home for home teaching if and when required.

Yeah but kids use them just as much if not more for social media, so if they can spend hours on Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler and Instagram (to name a few) then they can certainly use them for all above uses you stated. And whether or not their device is suitable should be left up to the discretion of the families.

Most teens could not afford that one. iPhone XS 64GB ¥128,000 plus plan with provider. More expensive than an iPad.

My point is- ANY smartphone will do. Or tablet. They should be able to use whatever device they want to. Making them buy anything is just wrong.

My main point is that kids spend HOURS upon HOURS doing all sorts of things with their phones- they can use them for every else, BUT if they feel like you that their phones are not enough, well, then they can buy whatever device they choose.

I'd like to think We can agree on that

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is just a cash grab for the tablet company and the Board of Education who probably struck a deal with aforementioned tablet company and will get a cut from these purchases they're trying to force on students and their families. How about actually improving the quality of education and introducing some basic IT infrastructure into all schools instead of forcing students to buy a particular bag, pair of socks, tablet etc. from XYZ store/company? The requirements for these new tablets they want their students to buy is ridiculous - you can get a perfectly functional generic brand tablet at a fraction of the cost. Or better question is why they're heaping the costs onto students? Why not use some of that taxpayer money, of which Japanese residents pay so much of, into the education system and invest in some proper kit for the students?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hands up if you ever referred to notes taken in high school after graduation.

When I left school at 16 and became an apprentice Instrument and Control Technician at a local tin smelter I attended Technical College. I needed my notes from my maths, physics and chemistry classes to help me. They were invaluable. Today, school notes can be stored on a drive or in a cloud.

The iPad is the most common tablet used in schools. Students use it to learn coding.

Apple's Swift, a full-year curriculum designed by Apple engineers and educators and provided free to schools to teach students to code and design fully functional apps, gaining job skills in software development and information technology.

Simba Information

https://www.simbainformation.com/Content/Blog/2017/08/07/Apples-iPad-is-Most-Popular-Tablet-in-Schools

How much computing power do your students and faculty need?

What degree of control should your faculty have and what devices do your students have access to?

How will the tablets integrate with your existing technology infrastructure?

The Surface Go 2 is ¥85,580. iPad 8th gen ¥34,760

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Students should not be forced and should also be allowed to buy their own second-hand tablets. There are thousands on sites like Yahoo Auction and sites like Dospara.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Goodlucktoyou

32GB is zero these days.

Previously I was using a 64GB iPad but now use a 32GB one which is very manageable. I have my entire art and painting business on it. Including photo's, video's, very large pdf's, Keynotes, accounts, lectures. I use cloud storage which I don't pay for, more than 150GB. You can now use USB memory sticks with iPads.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Students should not be forced and should also be allowed to buy their own second-hand tablets. There are thousands on sites like Yahoo Auction and sites like Dospara.

100% agree.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well, TBF, I can understand the logic. iOS has a better reputation for compatibility and lack of issues compared to Android b/c everything is relatively tightly controlled by Apple, and if everyone uses the same model tablet it minimizes the chance of unique incompatibility problems. A relatively high performance model is desirable to avoid lag problems which you get with cheap tablets (I'm mostly on cheap tablets, and I can feel the lag from time to time).

@Aly RustomToday 07:47 am JST

S Korea has a national Wi-fi where EVERYONE in the country is connected. They should do that here too.

According to your article, the number of public area Wi-Fis as of next year will be 41000, with additional Wi-Fi on buses. That's a lot of Wi-Fis, but considering the relatively limited range of a typical Wi-Fi hub (maybe 100-200 sq m) each, they won't be connecting "everyone" in South Korea soon. And how well they actually work has to be confirmed (if a lot of people try to log onto one hub, not all of them handle it so well).

And why do you want to keep suffering from the problem of shifting from one Wi-Fi to another as you move, when your mobile network does it more or less seamlessly? Why choose a short range radio over a long range one?

@AntiquesavingToday 11:01 am JST

The school ( public) told me if he missed anymore days he wouldn't be able to graduate because being hospitalised wasn't influenza so counted a absence without reason.

How many days does he get to skip before he won't be able to graduate? If it's a lot of days, then it might still not be so bad.

@dredlewToday 11:30 am JST

Why do they have two kids on a salary that’s just about enough for one person? If they were more financially responsible they would have come to the conclusion that kids cost money and are just not in their budget.

If that's the case, salaries in Japan need to be raised across the board. No money shouldn't be a reason to not have a mere two children in any country, especially one trying to arrest its falling population.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Come on Kyoto get creative... tax the tourists ...get Apple to subsidize 3/4 cost they got loads of money..and its a tax write off...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The Surface Go 2 is ¥85,580. iPad 8th gen ¥34,760

Android tablets can do everything iPad can and I can get one for ¥10,000 if not lower and a really good one with keyboard for ¥20,000 with 120 G SSD.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I am dismayed by this. When my son entered elementary school here I had the fight of the century with my wife about buying an 80,000 yen backpack. When I was a kid I got my backpack at K-mart and wore shoes so cheap that I was mocked and bullied.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@AntiquesavingToday 01:29 pm JST

Android tablets can do everything iPad can and I can get one for ¥10,000 if not lower and a really good one with keyboard for ¥20,000 with 120 G SSD.

20000 yen is less than HK$2000. While what you buy may be adequate for your needs, you will not be getting a really high performance model even if you are willing to buy one of those Chinese brands and if you go for even a relatively "reliable" brand like Acer you are waiting to get a low-end machine. Which may still be enough (I'm using one of those myself but you will definitely feel it). And for less than 10000 yen ... you can just about get a bottom of the line phone running that liteweight Android Go for that kind of price.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japanese students have less access to IT at school than other Western countries. They're falling behind the IT curve. My son's public school had no online lessons during lockdown. There are no PC labs or even wifi at public schools. The teachers are IT ignorant; can't even setup a simple Zoom meeting so they're afraid to use IT for fear of looking dumb. But yes they can be expensive.

Why not have the ministry of education step-in and work out a plan with Apple or other manufacturer to supply devices across the board at discount rates. It's called corporate social responsibility (CSR). Not exactly the same but my nephew's school in California had musical instruments donated for free by Fender USA. He got a free guitar. What better way to get future loyal buyers when they get older.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The Surface Go 2 is ¥85,580. iPad 8th gen ¥34,760

Now lets out this to rest.

iPad is a large iPhone just like Android tablets are large android smartphone.

Surface is a full windows 10 computer that also can use Apps along with all windows software.

To get the same from Apple one needs an iPad and are least and apple laptop.

Probably why nearly everyone I know that has an iPad also has a MacBook.

I don't know anyone that owns a surface or a Surfacebook that also owns any other tablet, PC or laptop.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Android tablets can do everything iPad can and I can get one for ¥10,000 if not lower and a really good one with keyboard for ¥20,000 with 120 G SSD.

Will they fit into the IT structure currently used by the schools?

The teachers and the students need to be using the same apps.

Android tablet ¥10,000? Amazon Fire? VANKYO 7 Inch Tablet, S7-Pink. Limited apps. Are they good enough for students?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Kazuaki Shimazaki

One word: Akihabara!

Several custom order Japanese makers offering both Windows 10 and Android tablets.

I know my stuff I used to build my own PCs, my daughter has a master's in AI and I built all here machines and my son's gaming PC.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Stick it on the tab.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As with many things in Japan, the bureaucrats have the right idea, (high school students need to develop IT skills on Office 365 tools. HS students in most developed countries even know how to program) However, they leave the IT thinking to corporations who suggest "safe & costly" systems.

Good - high school students need to have a note PC rather than a tablet. They need to know how to touch type. (best skill I learned in high school)

Bad - only one choice for the PC - this is where the parents need to pressure the schools

Juku costs - Many parents have a tough time understanding that IT skills (and English skills) are more important in the workplace to keep Japan competitive in the long run.

PS - Parents need to invest in monthly wifi for their homes. Lower the juku costs.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Probably why nearly everyone I know that has an iPad also has a MacBook.

I haven't owned a laptop since 2007. The last one was an iBook G3. Since 2012 I have just used the iPad. The current one, iPad 6th gen works for all my needs including access to my entire art business which is substantial. It cost me ¥25,000 from the refurbish dept.

Previous to that I had a Gateway Solo, which I bought in 2000 for about ¥700,000. But it was wiped out when I was caught in a very bad typhoon on the way home from my art studio.

Today, I use mac desktops, my iPad and iPhone 12. Total cost for those including accessories less than ¥200,000

Windows Surface no 64 bit apps. I have no problems with people buying and using the devices they want to use.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@zichi. I use cloud storage

I know your age and recent health complications, and I always find your comments intelligent and interesting...but seriously, you use cloud?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Many private high schools require students to have a tablet for use in classes. However, these were only due if if classes which made up only five to ten classes a week and only two or three subjects. These were specific courses and not for all students. I cannot see how they will be utilized within the public school curriculum. Parents will be forced to pay for these things and they’ll only be used in two or three classes a week. The rest of the time they will be used for gaming and social networking. Plus, Japanese teenagers are hopeless at looking after things. These tablets will get lost, stolen and smashed at least twice a year.

I admire their desire to include tablets into the curriculum, but they will not be fully utilized and only add to the parent’s financial burden of putting kids through high school.

I should add, I worked in a few public sr high schools and many of them are nothing short of a flipping zoo!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Difficult to find publishable and well-mannered words... A good education is the only way left for many countries, the same for here. You have to quickly make higher education free and compulsory for everyone, including the necessary equipment like the ones above. I don’t mean that everyone has to completely and successfully pass the high school, but they should at least try attending for the maximum possible time span. And btw, who in the whole universe necessarily needs or has got a 8690¥ stylus pen? That’s surely one of the things you could immediately cut off. lol

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Let them explain why such a configuration is needed. They should have some kind of background for such a decision.

In my opinion, this is pure lobbying by Apple.

And probably someone else at the top of the school system will have some of that "Apple" pie.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Windows Surface no 64 bit apps.

Because it can run 64 bit full windows software!

If you can use a full version of something, why use a cut down App version.

Simply put if you need/want to use Final cut Pro, you need a MacBook or Mac PC. Otherwise you are limited to the iPad Apps.

Surface has no such limitations it can run all windows 10 software.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

According to your article, the number of public area Wi-Fis as of next year will be 41000, with additional Wi-Fi on buses. That's a lot of Wi-Fis, but considering the relatively limited range of a typical Wi-Fi hub (maybe 100-200 sq m) each, they won't be connecting "everyone" in South Korea soon. And how well they actually work has to be confirmed (if a lot of people try to log onto one hub, not all of them handle it so well).

And why do you want to keep suffering from the problem of shifting from one Wi-Fi to another as you move, when your mobile network does it more or less seamlessly? Why choose a short range radio over a long range one?

Regardless of all of that,

About 45 million people in South Korea (or 95.1% of the population) use the Internet.[1] The country has the world's fastest average internet connection speed.[2][3] South Korea has consistently ranked first in the UN ICT Development Index since the index's launch. The government established policies and programs that facilitated the rapid expansion and use of broadband.

> South Korea has the most DSL connections per capita worldwide.[citation needed] ADSL is standard, but VDSL has started growing quickly. ADSL commonly offers speeds of 3 Mbit/s to 8 Mbit/s, with VDSL accordingly faster. The large proportion of South Korea's population living in apartment blocks helps the spread of DSL, as does a high penetration of consumer electronics in general. Many apartment buildings in built-up metropolitan areas have speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s such as the capital Seoul and Incheon[citation needed]. VDSL is commonly found in newer apartments while ADSL is normally found in landed properties where the telephone exchange is far away.

Personally, I think we should learn from what they have accomplished and try to rise to that level rather than that "sour grapes" mentality of criticizing them. I'd love to live in a Japan that has that kind of internet access regardless.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

And how well they actually work has to be confirmed

Been to South Korea, got a really cheap 1G Sim card the first time found out I wasted my money as free WIFI was everywhere and worked great.

And why do you want to keep suffering from the problem of shifting from one Wi-Fi to another as you move, when your mobile network does it more or less seamlessly? 

Because mobile networks cost!

I pay ¥1,200 a month for phone number a 3G in Japan that 3G goes really fast if you are not careful.

Sure I could pay thousands of yen more and get 20G 30G or I could just set up all the free WIFI like 7-11 etc... Using my VPN and not pay a fortune.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why the complain ???. Don't kyoto people want their children their be educated???

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Been to South Korea, got a really cheap 1G Sim card the first time found out I wasted my money as free WIFI was everywhere and worked great.

Yeah that's what I heard. Everyone has free Wifi and its everywhere. Never been to SK but everyone I know has said the same thing: just bring your smartphone and download Kakao Talk. That's their LINE over there. LOL

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Been to South Korea, got a really cheap 1G Sim card the first time found out I wasted my money as free WIFI was everywhere and worked great.

by the way, while we are on the subject, when I visit family in Vancouver, I have no problem accessing Wi-fi in almost every shop, and even on the street, as most shops' WIFI extend to the general vicinity. I can survive on Wi-fi in Canada. Always do.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

by the way, while we are on the subject, when I visit family in Vancouver, I have no problem accessing Wi-fi in almost every shop, and even on the street, as most shops' WIFI extend to the general vicinity. I can survive on Wi-fi in Canada. Always do.

Yes one can do the same in most major cities in Canada including Montreal, Toronto but according to Canadian law doing so with actual being a client is theoretically illegal.

Oh but Quebec city has set up a really good free City WiFi through most of the main areas, no crazy hassle of registration, time limits, etc..

That is the problem with most of the free city WiFi in Japan you need to register, give your email, etc...and often limited to 30~60 minutes a day.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Goodlucktoyou

@zichi. I use cloud storage

I know your age and recent health complications, and I always find your comments intelligent and interesting...but seriously, you use cloud?

Of course, I do and nothing wrong with that. iCloud/ OneDrive/Google/Tonido/Box/. Nothing on any of them to worry about and most of my art stuff is available on my website anyway. You would be wasting your time hacking any of them and all have strong passwords which frequently change. 150GB free is good. Backup on my desktops. It's all good.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

With the new DATA plans from the three main carriers, 20GB for about ¥2400, there's less reason to use wifi when out and about. I really use any of it except when using the printer in a convenience store.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Aly RustomToday 03:12 pm JST

Oh, I'm not dissing them, I just question the idea of a mere ~40000 WiFis being able to connect "everyone" in South Korea, including all the boonies. And I must say that in my opinion the marginal utility is low:

My experience of free WiFi would, by necessity, be from Hong Kong. I have 5GB/month worth of LTE connection. I also have some experience of using both cellular and WiFi in Japan. I use the phone's Hotspot to link-in my tablet which is where I use my data on the move.

Unless I start to stream Youtube, 5GB is sufficiently ample I don't have to "ration" my usage to last the month. Second, the process of linking up to WiFi is not seamless even without the sign-up process - I have to take out my phone, deactivate the Hotspot and then start using the tablet to find a suitable WiFi hotspot. Compared to that, the sign-up is not much of a pain. Except for when the sign-up screen is really slow in coming up (and if they can't even load a sign-up screen quickly, it's an indication of how much bandwidth I'll really get off that WiFi). Third, then I'll finish eating and get moving, and at that point the WiFi will cut out and even if it finds another one to lock onto, the switchover can hardly be called "seamless".

So you can see I'm not exactly greatly motivated to use the WiFi even if it is available. There is, however, one motivation, and that's when the phone's Hotspot is apparently jammed by the shop's Hotspot, so I am forced to use their WiFi if I want to continue using the Internet on the tablet!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Surface Go is 32 bit only.

Simply put if you need/want to use Final cut Pro, you need a MacBook or Mac PC. Otherwise you are limited to the iPad Apps.

With the new M1 iPad Pro, from this summer Final Cut Pro, Xcode and Logic Pro will be available.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Of course, I do and nothing wrong with that. iCloud/ OneDrive/Google/Tonido/Box/. Nothing on any of them to worry about 

That until you read their terms of service and realise that the legal terms and language basically means they can if they want use much if what you store in them for their own use.

The only cloud storage that are safe are paid zero knowledge ones where even the company cannot access or view your stuff.

Down side is that they also cannot restore your password, or encryption key, so forget your password, your key and there is nothing anyone can do.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The goal should be to make education more accessible

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Surface Go is 32 bit only.

Surface go was discontinued in 2019

Surface go 2 is 64 bit.

I know I will get a other but but but.

Why is it Apple users cannot admit facts.

The surface go was a flop just like Windows RT because no one wanted a toy and surface Go was line having an iPad or Android tablet, Windows RT was like having iOS.

Apple is maybe coming out with a few changes but like you said you have an iPad and a Mac desktop,

I have a Surfacebook nothing else needed, tablet full PC with everything.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That is an insane amount of money is you have more than one child. A loan? Sure! Great idea! Let's loan money to the people who already can't afford it! There should be some type of assistance for low income families.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have a Surfacebook nothing else needed, tablet full PC with everything.

Really, as an artist, I need a large screen for some of my work, in fact, colour calibrated dual monitors too. I also have about 8TB of DATA across a number of drives. Your tablet full PC is unworkable for most of us in my business.

With macOS and iOS the major apps like Pages/Numbers/Keynote/GarageBand are all free has is the OS and all the updates too. I have to buy or subscript for Word.

I do have a Windows Ten computer mostly for checking some of my work.

Surfacebook too small for a desktop too big for a tablet. Surface Book 3 - 13.5" Touch-Screen - 10th Gen Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 256GB SSD Too expensive for me.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Kyoto students should not be forced to buy iPads. If the Education Committee wants them to have them, they should provide them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No computers for the kids? One more nail in the coffin of Japanese capitalism?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I taught my wife's second-year JHS student today. She had to write some example sentences on a tablet. The tablet didn't function well, it took her forever to type, and it deprived her of a chance to practice penmanship - clearly, I don't like them. Fortunately, at least for her, her school provides them to students free of charge. Others are not so lucky, as in this Kyoto school district.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japanese elites are the most out-of-touch people in the whole world.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Another reason not to have kids

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just let them use Android tablets bought cheaply from China. $100 a pop!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If an iPad is Ok then no reason a cheaper Android isn't, it is that simple.

Now I was wondering what these 2 things were:

installation fees and

Tablet maintenance (1 year):

My daughter explained that when buying iPad in one of the big electronic stores they offer these paid Services which no one under the age of 60 ever buys.

These are up-sells targetting people bthar have zero knowledge of how to use these devices.

This is a waste of money as ever child today know very well how to install apps, uninstall apps, reset tablets/smartphones, clear data, etc... My children knew how to do this stuff in junior high and they are now both adults now.

Children today know this since elementary school.

Pure money grab and some sort of fishy deal going on.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The second sentence in the article is truly shocking, to this Canadian - "Because high school is not part of compulsory education in Japan, even at public schools tuition is charged,..."

Absolutely disgusting!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@TrevorPeace

If that shocked you, don't look up the cost and definitely don't look up the cost of University tuition.

My nieces in Canada are paying under $3,000 a year for McGill.

A really low ranked University in Japan will be ¥ 800,000.

If lucky and one can get into a National university then it will be ¥500,000 and up.

Welcome to Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The tax payer should pay for the iPads, books, lunch, uniforms, travel, teachers, parents housing, holidays abroad and everything else. Why should parents pay anything towards their childrens' upbringing? That is the job of the tax payer!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The tax payer should pay for the iPads, books, lunch, uniforms, etc..

Nice!

Perhaps Japan should exit the 19th century and include senior high school in basic free education like every other developed country.

Japan want the rest of the developed world to treat it equally but then acts like a developing country in so many aspects including education.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This has scam written all over it. Why demand that families buy overpriced Apple kit?

If home schooling is legal in Japan, now would be the time to hoik the kids out.

If they are going to be at home anyway courtesy of Covid, why bother to pay schools and their 'associates', supplying uniforms and the like.

Time for Plan B.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@GBR48

This has nothing to do with covid.

This is for after covid with students in school.

This is part of a long talked about plan for all schools to eventually go paperless, the plan was supposed to replace printed textbooks with ebooks and tablets. ( But the article doesn't clarify if this is the cases here)

This plan has been proposed for years and was to be primary to senior high.

But because primary and junior high are compulsory most cities have refused to implement this idea because under the system if parents cannot afford it the city would have to supply the devices and none want to pay for it.

Home schooling and even most international schools in Japan are technically not legal for Japanese citizens from primary to junior high.

Senior High school is not compulsory or guaranteed not even a right.

So sure home schooling is an option, even international school.

But no Japanese high school certification is possible and that means no standard University entrance system.

And the children would most likely have to apply to the university as non Japanese students and this will affect tuition fees and limited openings.

Note that there is a high-school equivalency examination system but getting into University with that is not impossible but nearly impossible.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Oh, I'm not dissing them, I just question the idea of a mere ~40000 WiFis being able to connect "everyone" in South Korea, including all the boonies. And I must say that in my opinion the marginal utility is low:

fair enough but it’s still better than what we have here now.

My experience of free WiFi would, by necessity, be from Hong Kong. I have 5GB/month worth of LTE connection. I also have some experience of using both cellular and WiFi in Japan. I use the phone's Hotspot to link-in my tablet which is where I use my data on the move.

Unless I start to stream Youtube, 5GB is sufficiently ample I don't have to "ration" my usage to last the month. Second, the process of linking up to WiFi is not seamless even without the sign-up process - I have to take out my phone, deactivate the Hotspot and then start using the tablet to find a suitable WiFi hotspot. Compared to that, the sign-up is not much of a pain. Except for when the sign-up screen is really slow in coming up (and if they can't even load a sign-up screen quickly, it's an indication of how much bandwidth I'll really get off that WiFi). Third, then I'll finish eating and get moving, and at that point the WiFi will cut out and even if it finds another one to lock onto, the switchover can hardly be called "seamless".

So you can see I'm not exactly greatly motivated to use the WiFi even if it is available. There is, however, one motivation, and that's when the phone's Hotspot is apparently jammed by the shop's Hotspot, so I am forced to use their WiFi if I want to continue using the Internet on the tablet!

fair enough brother. Whatever works for you. But to the average joe or impoverished kids in the article mentioned above, I think that we can both agree that the SK model would work well

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How many of these kids have a playstation or a nintendo? Maybe Sony should figure out a way to offer online education via these platforms and make a deal with the Ministry of Education. If I was a kid, I wouldn't mind using Sony's VR headset attached to a wireless keyboard to learn. Probably cheaper than buying an Apple Ipad.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We have a population decline.

Birth rates down.

Adding more financial burden on families is not a good way to encourage them to have more children.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Unfortunately, these kids and every other kid under them will have to be tech savvy and that is the way the world is going. They should be able to use their own unit however.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Now working as an ALT for a city in West Tokyo which shall remain unnamed ... I can vouch for the connectivity issues. 3rd Junior High school students have access to a tablet, but might as well go back to a pre-digital era because the constant system freezes from the slooooowwww - speed internet access appears to be the technological equivalence of those now mostly mothballed language labs of a previous generation.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan is just getting more Corrupted by the Government.They should ask all the Big Business from their prefectures to Donate all the tablets to students who are required by their schools...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Smells of "Corruption" - plain and simple.

So how should the locals take action ? Anyone ???

Any AntiCorruption organisations around with whom they should engage ?

Likewise for Tokyo...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is actually a great business opportunity for someone to rent iPads to these students who can't afford them. Also a great opportunity to create WiFi access points. Software should be universal and coming from the Gov at a free or subsidized cost. Also should be options of using a LapTop.

Biggest issue is using LTE/4G/5G cell phone data = that will get very expensive for a student. Free WiFi is needed in and around the school area.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We recently had a letter from the PTA informing us of some school services were being scrapped due to budget cuts. Meanwhile the LDP is happy to throw billions at the lame duck Olympics without batting an eyelid. So it begins folks!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@KniknaknokkaerToday  02:22 pm JST

Well, the Olympics is by now an international commitment. Any thought about cost-benefit should have been done before being selected, or before even putting your name in the hat. Once they've decided its you, you have a duty to see it through.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

^^^ None of that changes the fact it's a huge waste of resources.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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