Primary customersThe decreasing number of school-age children is of serious concern for the Japanese educational service industry. The number of elementary-age pupils has fallen from around 7.3 million 20 years ago to 6.3 million in 2020. Despite that, the market of educational businesses had experienced a moderate growth in revenue until the corona disease (COVID-19) pandemic induced a decline in 2020. The sales of supplementary tutorial schools also had continuously increased for the five years preceding 2019. Both figures indicate that parents continue to finance out-of-school extracurricular education for children. According to the latest survey results, parents whose children attend lower secondary schools on average spent around 18 thousand Japanese yen on education, excluding school fees.
A relatively new trend in the educational business sector is ‘lifelong education’ focusing on seniors and adults. According to surveys, the most popular educational services for adults include sports and fitness-related courses, as well as language and IT classes.
EdTech: the future of learningMost classes in the education business are typically face-to-face. However, the market of e-learning has been expanding, a trend that was the COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated. A declaration of a state of emergency in spring 2020 lead to many non-school learning facilities shutting down. These businesses began to offer online courses to compensate for the lost revenue and, concurrently, increased online learning infrastructure, developments that is expected to continue in the coming years.
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in Japan announced the plan for Global and Innovation Gateway for All (GIGA) schools in 2019. With this policy, the MEXT aims to establish an ICT infrastructure in educational institutions and provide one computer per student in every school. The ministry also designated programming as a compulsory education in elementary schools starting in 2020. It is anticipated that this strategy will promote the Education Technology (EdTech) field and facilitate, for example, Artificial Intelligence (AI) based learning and Learning Management Systems (LMS) in addition to e-learning.