The Ministry of Education of Japan plans to place English-speaking robots in schools across the country to help children improve their English speaking communication skills.
According to one report as part of the trial, the ministry will launch the initiative in April in some 500 schools nationwide. The report will also feature study apps and “online chat sessions” with native speakers of English.
Japan is under pressure to improve the English skills of primary school teachers, NHK added but lacks funding to hire English speakers in every school, with the deployment of English-speaking robots to offer a cheaper or easier option.
NHK added that Japanese students “are generally not good at speaking or writing in English and that the program’s guidelines to be implemented in two years’ time will be aimed at developing such skills. He did not say whether this would be the case for human teachers or a longer-term investment in robotics for schools.
Japan won the world’s first robot teacher in 2009; called Saya, the robot was tested in a classroom of fifth and sixth-grade students in Tokyo, the Guardian reported at the time. Institutions in Singapore and London are among those whose giants NAO and Pepper from the Japanese giant SoftBank offer learning support.
The Norwegian company No Isolation has deployed its AV1 robot in Scandinavian schools to help children with long-term illness Stay in touch with your friends and class. The robot is remotely controlled by the child via an application on a mobile phone or tablet. It is also equipped with a Wi-Fi wireless network and 2G/3G/4G mobile networks and works with batteries in order to be able to join classmates in school classes.
In Poland, Photon Entertainment is the developer of a small robot that teaches young children to code. Analysts predict that the educational robotic market will be worthwhile $1.7 billion from here 2023.