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English immersion program facing budget elimination

Date Posted: 2010-02-18

A special educational program at a pair of Okinawa City schools conducting classes in English is facing extinction unless something can be done to provide funding to keep the program going.

Yamauchi Junior High School and Kyuyo High School have been in the “immersion education” program since it was created on a test basis by the Okinawa Prefecture Board of Education in 2007. The trial period ends next month, and education officials say it’s likely the program will come to a near standstill after March because of a lack of funding. The program was created to give students training to communicate in the international world.

The Board of Education says it wants to continue to program. Students in the two schools say they want the project to continue. Teachers also agree, but say money’s an issue because there are many budget needs. Since lessons are taught to Okinawan students in English, teaching materials in both Japanese and English are required, and preparing those materials takes time. More than 87% of the students say the want the program to continue in April. Nearly half of students in complex studies such as science say they’re comprehending the materials being taught in English.

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