- Katariba has launched Room-K to help students who refuse to attend school.
- The metaverse-based platform helps students create a relationship of trust with counsellors and gain a sense of belonging.
- The Japanese government is assessing the best environments to provide education amid an increase in nonattending students.
Public schools are the most recognised form of education globally. However, they are not every parent’s or children’s preferred way of learning. In fact, in some countries like the US, homeschooling is a legally recognised educational system, giving homeschooled students an equal opportunity for higher learning as their publicly schooled counterparts.
Over the last two years— amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the e-learning form of education gained more traction with more educational institutions using platforms like Zoom to conduct online classes.
Now, with the rapid adoption of metaverse technologies, traditional e-learning platforms are leveraging web3 technology to offer immersive classes. Joining the party is a Japanese nonprofit organisation (NPO), Katariba, which has launched Room-K, a metaverse-based educational platform.
The organisation wants to use the platform to provide students that refuse to attend school with an alternative option to pursue their studies.
The platform could receive a major boost amid an upcoming policy update from Japan’s new Government Agency for Child and Family Affairs. The policy seeks to address among other issues, the growing number of students refusing to attend school.
So far, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and complex home environments have been identified as contributing factors. The government wants to facilitate learning processes that help non-attending students including those in online spaces.
Katariba uses its metaverse space to provide educational support to such children. According to the Tokyo-based NPO, Room-K “helps children create relationships of trust with counsellors, gain a sense of belonging, acquire social skills and concentrate on studying,” Katariba officials said.
The platform has already enrolled more than 110 elementary and junior high school students from Hiroshima Prefecture, Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward and other places in its metaverse space.
The platform offers freedom of choice, allowing students to choose their subjects and the time they want to study, with 45-minute sessions created for multiple subjects including Japanese, programming and reading with other students.
According to Katariba, nearly 10% of students using Room-K returned to normal schooling in 2022. However, the organisation is targeting more than just getting children to return back to school.
“Our aim is to create a place where children can learn,” Katariba’s Tomotaka Segawa, who is in charge of Room-K, said. “We want to increase the options for municipalities seeking to support nonattending children.”
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