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I want to share an interesting story about schools in Japan and Egypt.
In Japan, especially in elementary schools, there are “special activities.” These are educational activities outside regular lessons, like math, science, and PE, as well as extracurricular activities or club activities such as baseball and basketball clubs, which might be more familiar to schools abroad.
For special activities in Japan, students may do tasks like cleaning at the end of each lesson or taking care of routine activities for the class. They might also be part of committees for things like the Student Self-government, Environment Embellishment, Voting, or School Festival. These committees are not just for one class but for the whole school, making these activities social. So, Japanese students are not only busy with studies but also with hobby-like and social activities.
I recently found out that these “special activities” are unique to Japan when I watched a TV program on NHK reporting that Egypt is trying to adopt Japanese-style special activities in their elementary schools. The then Egyptian President believed these activities would empower and unify future generations in Egypt. Tokkatsu being unique in Japan was surprising, but to me, its adoption in Egypt was even more surprising!
Curious about how popular it really is, I looked it up online and found an article in “Arab News.” According to this English journal, Tokkatsu, or the special activities Japanese style, is very popular in Egypt, reaching all 1800 public elementary schools! I was impressed!
There’s a slight difference in how each country sees Tokkatsu. In Egypt, it’s expected to nurture creativity and thinking power, while in Japan, there’s more emphasis on how it helps children cooperate and be sociable.
Let’s see how Tokkatsu in Egypt develops in the future! See you again!