Former Toyota President Shoichiro Toyoda has founded Kaiyo Academy, a $175 million school that he modeled after Britain's Eton Academy - a school that boasts 19 British Prime Ministers among her alumni and the second-in-line to the throne, Prince William.
In Japan there is dissatisfaction with the 'dumbing down' of its curriculum. Four years ago, the government cut 30% of the workload of the elementary and jr. high school curriculum.
Toyota's Kaiyo academy is attractive for many reasons.
1. It is backed by Toyota.
2. It is focusing on developing kids who can do more than just pass exams.
3. It is backed by Toyota.
4. The facilities are first rate.
5. It is backed by Toyota.
6. Wireless enabled, grand pianos in the music rooms ...attention to detail that you expect from Toyota.
7. It is backed by Toyota.
8. It will have high-quality teaching and first-rate edcuational resources.
9. Did I say it was backed by Japan's corporate superstar, Toyota?
It costs about $26,000 a year to attend, and of course there are rigorous testing requirements to just get in. Asians love this sort of thing, and the Japanese are no different.
And, of course...there are critics.
1. It is open to boys only.
2. Toyota, and its partners, Central Japan Railway and Chubu Electric Power don't know anything about the education business.
Toyota reckons they can spare some of the $12.5 billion they earned in the first quarter of this year to learn how to do education better.
My money is on Toyota and their influence in the fopro industry in Japan.
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