The Telegraph
Wednesday , December 16 , 2015
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Lessons from Japan for city students

Why must we stay away from contaminated water?What is team work and the human pyramid concept?How important is dignity of labour?

Students may soon find the answers to these questions as part of hygiene and ethics training straight from Japan. A Tokyo-based Indian company - Colors of India Center - is bringing Japanese education to the city's schools and colleges.

The education model - Japan Education Center in India (JECI) - is a combination of course books, worksheets, live lessons from Japan, exchange programmes, professional training and field visits for students from classes I to XII. The curriculum includes two compulsory subjects - Japanese language training and hygiene ( Swachh Bharat Abhiyan). The latter will include lessons on cleanliness of both the mind and body as well as social etiquette tips for all age groups.

"Japan hopes to connect better with India. There are only 23,000 Indians in Japan of the 50 million all over the world. Lack of awareness about the opportunities here in Asia is the reason why fewer Indians opt for Japan. For a better connect we need to educate Indian students about Japan right from the school level," said Raj Adhikary, the president of Colors of India Center.

Brought up in Calcutta himself, Adhikary hopes to reach out to over 15 schools in the first leg of JECI presentations. And why the stress on cleanliness? "The curriculum has been designed keeping in mind the nation's 'Clean India' mission. It is similar to the ones used in Japanese schools for students right from three years," Adhikary said.

The cleanliness programme will cover time management and social skills, including how to conduct oneself in malls and public places or the right kind of table manners. It aims at promoting systematic thinking in students in the hope of nurturing a more disciplined mindset in the home, school and community environment. Cleanliness lessons will be held twice a week and for 240 minutes a month.

"We hope not just to harvest talents from all over India but to train parents as well through our worksheets and quizzes," Adhikary said.

Schools opting for this curriculum will have an in-house JECI faculty, monitored directly from Tokyo. "We will train selected teachers for free. We will also monitor their lessons through live classes and keep a quality check on the schools. The school authorities only need to buy worksheets and other study materials from us," Adhikary said. A smart class will help, especially with some lessons "wired live".

High school and college students will also be offered information on Japan universities and their courses. On the cards is Japan-specific business skill development training to open up employment opportunities.

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