This is educational news that makes us sit up and take notice.  In a country known more for cooperative conformity than for individual creativity, many educators will be excited and wish to see this program succeed, and proliferate and perhaps become the norm(?), paving the way for square pegged students to find their place under the sun, …

Program starts for talented kids

The Yomiuri Shimbun, December 11, 2014

A new education program has been started to support primary and middle school students who have extraordinary talents but struggle to participate in the normal school system.

The opening ceremony was held Wednesday at the University of Tokyo’s Komaba Campus in Meguro Ward, Tokyo, with the 15 students from the inaugural class in attendance. Titled the Room Of Children with Kokorozashi (ambition) and Extraordinary Talents (ROCKET), the program is organized by the university’s Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology and the Nippon Foundation.

ROCKET’s goal is to develop the extraordinary talents of students interested in specific fields such as music and mathematics but who tend to refuse to attend school for such reasons as not being good at communicating with others.

The program will aim to nurture figures like Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein, both of whom did not fit in well at school, said an official in charge of the program.

Experts conducting cutting-edge research in various fields will give lectures and hold lab sessions roughly once a month. The program includes private guidance using an Internet phone as well.

Of the about 600 primary and middle school students around the nation who applied for the program, five primary school students and 10 middle school students were selected through written applications and interviews for the inaugural class.

“We want to develop the abilities of children excluded from school education and create a society that accepts those with extraordinary talents,” said Kenryu Nakamura, a professor at the research center who is in charge of ROCKET.
© The Yomiuri Shimbun

The Japan News