Covid-19: Learning in Japan continues online

March 23, 2020

Learning in Japan continues using various online platforms as schools remain closed due to the coronavirus outbreak 

Covid-19: Learning in Japan continues online

School closures have forced learning in Japan to shift online.  A number of major content publishers have already offered free services to help parents educate and entertain their children at home.  For example, Recruit Marketing Partners Co. currently offers free access to video lectures on history and maths.  This platform can also be used to submit electronic homework assignments and exams.

Many Manga producers have provided free access to their comics which will continue until April, when schools are set to reopen.  Popular comics Shueisha and Shogakukan are among the digital manga publications which are entirely free at this time.  Various manga apps such as Comic Days, Manga Mee, Book Walker and Dragon Zakura Note have also released free chapters.

Japanese EdTech companies are offering free or discounted e-Learning solutions at this time including: Z-kai, Wonderlab and Yahoo Japan.  Z-kai is a large company offering a wide collection of tools including ICT services and books.  Wonderlab provides STEAM resources that help students develop thinking and problem solving skills.  Yahoo Japan is offering access to a portal featuring videos on topics ranging from English to jobs and welfare.  This service can be accessed here: https://kids.yahoo.co.jp/study/ouchigakkou/

“ I think it’s the first time that schools nationwide have faced a long-term closure without any advance notice and many schools haven’t prepared homework for students…We decided to offer free service as we wanted to help such schools. ” Hiroko Saito, Company Spokeswoman, Recruit Marketing Partners Co.

Various other platforms are providing free access during this period including Tokyo based Sharp Corp., Classi Corp., and Dwango.  Sharp Corp. enables students to complete electronic assignments set by teachers in five disciplines including maths, Japanese language and social studies.  It also provides an interactive service, jointly developed with Shingakukai Holdings Co. 

Dwango provides access to online lessons and its system is based on the Niconico Live Streaming system, allowing students to participate interactively using smartphones.  Classi Corp. enables students and teachers to communicate and assignments can be distributed to students to complete electronically.