Advanced SSHs are institutions where university professors specializing in mathematics and science instruct motivated students of high scholastic standing.
The party's Headquarters for the Revitalization of Education, chaired by Toshiaki Endo, will make an official decision on the proposal this month. The goal of the proposal is to implement educational reforms to nurture human resources who can actively contribute to the international community.
The LDP plans to include the proposal in its pledge for the House of Councillors election campaign this summer and is considering preparing legislation to realize it.
The proposal recommends a three-pronged approach for revitalizing the education system: drastic reform of English education, improved science and mathematics, and development of information and communication technology education. The proposal requests about 1 trillion yen to pursue these three strategies.
Specifically, the proposal advocates doubling the number of doctorate degree holders in the fields of science and mathematics to 35,000 a year, on par with the United States. For this, the establishment of advanced SSHs within seven to 10 universities is proposed across the nation.
The plan also recommends increasing the number of SSHs from the current figure of about 180 and placing science teachers in primary schools to interest more students in the subject.
Regarding English education reform, it proposes all public and private universities designate minimum TOEFL scores for each faculty and stipulate only applicants who achieve or surpass those score may take entrance examinations. The minimum scores would be set independently by each university. TOEFL is used to assess English proficiency and is often used as a screening tool for students who wish to study abroad.
In terms of the developing information and communication technology education, the proposal clearly includes the provision of tablet computers as teaching aids to each student at all primary, middle, high and special-needs schools before 2020.