natasha nakamura's diary
A test was recently given to all elementary-school students, just to see how they were doing, and on the 7 o'clock news tonight we got a ten-minute rundown of the results, broken down by prefecture. Scores ran 65-75 percent, which was judged not bad.
Then we got a look at one of the questions, which involved the geometric spaces that could be created when straight lines were drawn through oblongs whose dimensions were known. A dozen teachers from around the country were asked the answer, which some got right and some flunked.
Then we were told the answer and shown how it was derived. The answer required no special knowledge, only an ability to reason. (I didn't get the answer myself.)
All this took ten minutes, as I say, on a prime-time evening news program. Would this happen in any other country? South Korea, maybe.
Natasha will be travelling in Europe until the beginning of October and has decided not to take her iPad with her.