Modi visits school in Japan; invites teachers to teach the language in India

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Keen to upgrade the educational standards in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today visited a 136-year-old school here as a 'student' to understand the academic system of Japan which could be replicated back home.

He also invited teachers from here to teach Japanese language in India and proposed online courses amid his pitch for enhanced cooperation in languages and social values among the Asian countries to make the 21st century truly that of Asia.

"My intention to come here is to understand how modernisation, moral education and discipline has been blended into Japan's education system. I have come as the oldest student to the 136-year-old school," Modi said at the Taimei Elementary School.

The Prime Minister was given a detailed presentation by Deputy Minister for Education Maekawa Kehai about how Japan's education system, particularly the one run by government, works.

He made some queries, including how syllabus is made, whether tests are the only criteria for promotion, whether punishment is awarded to students and how moral education is imparted to them.

"I feel enlightened now," he said.

Noting that the whole world recognises that the 21st century would belong to Asia, the Prime Minister said that to make it truly happen, Asia countries should enhance cooperation among themselves in languages and social values.

"It should serve the entire humanity," he said.

In this context, Modi said Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has introduced Japanese language courses in India but the country faces shortage of skilled Japanese teachers. He invited Japanese teachers to teach in India. "Even the retired teachers are welcome," he said.

Modi proposed that online and audio-video courses could be started by Japan and exams could be held here, amid his confidence that it would find many takers among the Indian students.

Such a mechanism could be put in place about Indian languages too, he said.

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