A school district in Kumamoto, Japan is taking a futuristic approach to address its attendance problem. The district plans to allow some students to attend classes via telepresence robots. These robots, equipped with a wheeled base and tablet, enable students to remotely participate in classroom activities and interact with teachers and classmates through video chat.
The school district in Kumamoto has been grappling with an increasing number of absent students over the past few years. In the 2022 academic year alone, a total of 2,760 students were not attending classes. To address this issue, the district initially implemented online classes, which proved to be effective in reducing communication anxiety and boosting self-esteem among students.
Now, the district is raising the bar by introducing telepresence robots. The robots will allow absent students to socialize and collaborate with their peers without physically being present in school. By providing a bridge between online and physical classes, the school district hopes to prepare students with school anxiety to eventually transition to in-person education.
While the initiative is currently limited to elementary and junior high school levels, the district is considering expanding its use to high schools in the future. The school board plans to assess the effectiveness of the telepresence robot system in March after its implementation in November.
This creative approach to tackling the attendance problem highlights the district’s commitment to finding innovative solutions for students who struggle with attending school. By utilizing technology, the district aims to lower the mental barriers faced by truant students and create a more inclusive and engaging learning environment.
Source: The Mainichi