Starting in April, Yuushi Kokusai High School will start recruiting transfer students from Japan’s credit-based metaverse high school.
In the “Metaverse Students” program, students can graduate from high school with an avatar of a student’s preference. They would, however, attend a school approved by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology in the metaverse.
The high school allows students to transfer during the academic year, and they can transfer and graduate from anywhere in Japan or even overseas. The remote learning system for Yushi Kokusai High School was built by Aominext, a company that develops anime-styled metaverse spaces. The system finished working on Jan. 9.
The future of the metaverse? An actual upcoming VR school in Japan where you can get your diploma as an anime character. https://t.co/oTeabno8xX
— PC Gamer (@pcgamer) January 16, 2024
School-based, not private
Japan’s program is different from metaverse and education projects led by entities because it adheres to the guidelines set forth in the School Education Act, Article 1. Under this project, students in the metaverse are able to finish courses provided by their schools like regular full-time high school students would, enabling them to graduate.
All students enrolled in the metaverse program will receive VR equipment without any charge. This will enable them to participate in homerooms, a departure from the typical tools like Zoom that are often used by traditional correspondence high schools. These schools usually rely on text-based communication platforms such as Slack, which may limit their experiences.
The school notably holds events such as the Yushi Festival, a cultural festival in which each class in the metaverse space plans and implements performances, and the general public is invited.
3D spaces will be featured
The program is also incorporating 3D spaces with the aim of enhancing student interaction and providing opportunities for peer connections.
Yushi, being a correspondence school, attracts students from various locations. This student population potentially makes communication easier among students as they have opportunities to connect with a peer group beyond their classmates.
The chosen VR platform for this project is “Planeta.” The program includes plans for group discussions and presentation coaching within the metaverse tailored to suit each student’s career interests. Efforts are being made to incorporate networking tools such as “misskey.”
The community had something to say
Following the completion and announcement of the project, different people have sent out their views. Hazid, a member of the Resetera gaming forum, feels like this is the worst possible solution to whatever problem the project is supposed to solve. Booshka, still a member, believes students need more in-person and interpersonal interaction in their education career.
Other members think that this could be good for certain types of people who can’t attend traditional school for any number of reasons. According to one commenter, “the first few years of this will be rough for a boatload of reasons.”
The metaverse community on the X platform (formerly Twitter) was not left behind. One user believes the project is great for people with disabilities, social anxiety, body dysphoria, neurodivergence, and so many other things. The user also comments that the high school could be of use in remote learning.