' Multimedia Review

Multimedia Review

Preparatory schools providing education via satellite to remote areas
October 17th

Kensuke Yaegashi


In addition to regular school there are preparatory schools. The function of such schools are to teach supplementary information required to pass the college entrance exam. These preparatory schools are not required by the Ministry of Education. However most students attend preparatory schools so they can be accepted to good universities. In Japan, where you attend is much more important than what you learned. The future for student attending top colleges is much brighter if they are accepted to the top schools.

Characteristics of Preparatory schools providing education via satellite to remote areas

In Japan, preparatory schools use satellites more often than ISDN for providing distant-independent education. The reason behind this is the ISDN infrastructure is still not developed as in the United States. As a result telecommunication costs are more expensive than in the United States.

In 1995, Toshin Satellite Preparatory School began transmitting to 700 classrooms all over Japan in 1995. Each classroom has televisions and a satellite dish to receive both visual and audio from the broadcast center.

Toshin Satellite Preparatory School is the subsidiary of Nagase preparatory school. The parent company Nagase remains traditional with only 20 classrooms. It does not use satellite technology.

Impact of distant-independent education on the preparatory school industry

The critical success factor for a preparatory school is the speed at which the preparatory school adopts new technology. The companys growth rate depends on its ability to provide distant-independent education Satellite technology requires less capital and operating costs are cheaper than traditional schools. Distant-independent education enables more students to be taught simultaneously. Therefore, the economies of scale work and the average cost per student is reduced. Unlike the traditional way, where there is a teacher in each classroom, distant-independent requires only one teacher. The most popular preparatory schools such as Yoyogi Seminar, Kawai-juku and Sundai all started to use distant-independent education system which have made them all stronger.

Before distance-independent education, top preparatory schools were located in the cities. The result was a lower level of teaching in remote areas compared to cities such as Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. With popular preparatory schools providing their services nationwide, this differential will disappear.

Kensuke Yaegashi --- Exchange Student from Japan

related information:
Toshin D-school
last updated Nov. 26th