Japan to introduce digital textbooks in classrooms

Tokyo, March 4  Japan is set to introduce digital textbooks in classrooms in four years' time, the media reported on Friday. An education ministry panel has decided on a basic policy for introducing tablet computers and other digital devices into classrooms at elementary schools as well as junior and senior high schools, starting with the 2020 school year, public broadcaster NHK reported. The panel said the digital textbooks can offer videos and sound and will help students with, for example, foreign language studies. The devices can serve the needs of disabled students with zoom functions to enlarge text or graphs, it added. Under the policy, a tablet computer will be provided to each student. But some panel members argued that traditional paper textbooks are indispensable for developing students' writing skills and their ability to think. Some schools are yet to provide proper digital devices and internet access. The panel will finalise its plan next month.