The Toyota Foundation International Grant Program
Japan & Korea Basic Education Joint Project

International Grant Program

About this project

Q. What are you planning to do?

This project is supported by the International Grant Program of the Toyota Foundation.
We aim to create a framework for international collaboration to ensure access to basic education in Asia based on the cooperation between Korea and Japan, mutually exchanging knowledge and experience concerning policies, learning materials, capacity building and training of staff and considering how to create a transregional organization to link research results with policies.
We are planning to implement the following four projects from November 2017 to November 2019.

  1. ①MANABIAI (Learning Exchange Program): Hold International symposia and exchange meetings alternately in Japan and Korea.
  2. ②Share excellent learning/teaching materials as well as viewpoints and methods for developing materials by translation.
  3. ③Create booklets describing the current situation and issues of basic education in Japan and Korea and publish them in Japanese and Korean.
  4. ④Create a video “Record of Change” (with Japanese and Korean captions) and distribute it on the internet.

Q. Why is it essential for Japan and Korea to collaborate on this joint project?

So far, basic education security problem in Asia has only been acknowledged as an issue of developing countries. However, in countries like Japan and Korea that have achieved economic development and established a widespread school education system, this issue has emerged as an issue peculiar to developed countries due to economics and migration. It is difficult to find prospects for solving these issues, which have occurred under globalization, with limited information available in either of these countries alone.

Q. What makes it different from the previous exchanges?

Up until now, exchanges between people related to basic education in Japan and Korea have been mainly carried out in individual areas and on an individual basis.
For the continuance and spread of activities, it is necessary to establish an organizational network for joint research and exploration. In this project, Japan and Korea aim to achieve systematic exchanges with Japanese Society for the Study of Basic Education and Literacies (JASBEL) acting as the Japanese coordinator and Korean Literacy and Basic Education Association as the Korean coordinator.
It is also expected that other Asian countries making an economic breakthrough will also participate in this network.

Introduction of coordinating organizations

This project is operated jointly by the coordinating organizations in Japan and Korea.

Japanese Society for the Study of Basic Education
and Literacies (JASBEL)

This organization aims to build a cross-sector joint network of researchers, practitioners, administrative officials and students working on improving learning support for the poor and the students in evening middle schools, literacy classes in Buraku (discriminated community), and community based Japanese classes for the speakers of other languages. Established in August 2016.

Korean Literacy and Basic Education Association

In Korea, literacy education is viewed as a way to achieve “cultural and social liberation of humans through learning letters”.
Korean Literacy and Basic Education Association is one of the three major organizations relating to literacy education in Korea, along with Korean Association of Literacy Education (KALE) and the National Association of Popular Education, YAHAK (NAPE Yahak).
Mainly composed of practitioners, it carries out training of supporters, development of learning/teaching materials, presentation of composition writing, etc. Established in 1999.

What is the Toyota Foundation International Grant Program?

 It is a grant program of the Toyota Foundation for international joint projects based on open recruitment. The program title for FY2017 was "Cultivating Empathy through Learning from Our Neighbors: Practitioners' Exchange on Common Issues in Asia”.
The grant program focuses on deepening mutual understanding and knowledge-sharing among people on the ground in East and Southeast Asia who are finding solutions to shared issues. Through promoting direct interaction among key players, the grant program aims to survey and analyze situations in target countries, obtain new perspectives, and expand the potential of future generations. (Source: Program Objectives from the Toyota Foundation website)