Survey: Nearly 90% of Japan schools concerned about transition to digital textbooks

Nearly 90% of schools are concerned about the complete transition to digital textbooks, according to a recent survey by The Yomiuri Shimbun.

The government aims to fully introduce digital textbooks in schools from the 2024 academic year. The survey was conducted online in March, covering 500 large elementary and junior high schools nationwide. A total of 329 schools responded, or 65.8%.

Asked if they had any concerns about the full transition from paper textbooks to digital textbooks, 28% of the respondents said they were “concerned,” and 58% chose “slightly concerned.” Twelve percent said they had no apprehensions about it. The most common reason for worry, cited by 18% of schools, was the “failure or malfunction of the devices.” Doubts about the devices’ effectiveness in improving academic performance also stood out.

As of the 2020 school year, each student in elementary and junior high schools had received a digital learning device.

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry aims to fully introduce digital textbooks in time for the 2024 academic year, when the new version of elementary school textbooks will be introduced. Discussions will be held by experts and school principals, and a decision on how to implement the system will be reached around summer.

The Yomiuri Shimbun