New minister of education Bunmei Ibuki said Wednesday it's not necessary to make English a mandatory subject at elementary schools in Japan.
During a press conference, the minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology expressed his opposition to the Central Education Council which has proposed English education as part of school curriculum for fifth and sixth grades, besides 6 years in middle and high schools.
Ibuki, one of the ministers in Japan's new cabinet led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said schools should consider making English a mandatory subject when students have learned to speak and write Japanese at a basic level.
I'm concerned that elementary schools are not teaching children what they are supposed to, Ibuki said, according to daily newspaper Asahi Shimbum. adding that we must look at results of our effort, of course.â€
â€œThose who want to learn English from elementary schools can do so individually, keeping in mind that only developing an interest in foreign countries is our goal, he added.
According to a poll taken by the ministry earlier this year, 54.6 of respondents agreed with English at the elementary shcool level, while 40 percent were opposed.