Sunday, April 09, 2006

"No comparable academy for girls is currently on the drawing board"

There are good arguments both for and against single-sex schooling, and I've not got strong views either way. So at first sight, the opening of a new boys' school in Japan is not really that big a deal. But this is no ordinary school. Modelled on Eton (although they don't say in what ways), this exclusive, intensive, expensive boarding school is designed to turn out the nation's leaders. Significantly, it's sponsored by 80 of Japan's leading companies, who see this as a way of hot-housing their future executives. But:
"No comparable academy for girls is currently on the drawing board."
I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. Japan is routinely found to be way down the rankings for gender equality (even compared to their neighbours in Asia, let alone the rest of the world). I guess that the executives at Toyota and their pals in the other co-sponsoring companies are embarassed that their nation is currently ranked above Bangladesh (albeit marginally), with such giants in the arena of human rights as Zimbabwe and Pakistan further behind. Not for long!

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