Coding School Opens at Northern Japan Esports Center to Develop Children’s Digital Skills

Instructor Takeshi Izuta is seen at a programming school equipped with advanced computers in Yamagata City, Yamagata Prefecture on March 3, 2022. (Mainichi/Taisuke Kodera)

YAMAGATA — A programming school for elementary and junior high school students has been launched in this northern Japanese city with the aim of developing tech-savvy staff who can respond to an increasingly digitalized society.

The organization, called D-School, opened at the YES*7 esports trial complex in Yamagata City, Yamagata Prefecture. It allows students to receive hands-on training surrounded by state-of-the-art gaming equipment, including 20 advanced computers and other devices.

YES*7 was created in August 2021 by local advertising agency Sam Communications with the aim of revitalizing the downtown area. The operator planned to make the esports testing facility a place of learning amid growing calls from parents and guardians wanting to introduce their children to programming from an early age. The move came after the Japanese government made programming lessons a compulsory subject in elementary schools starting in the 2020 school year.

At D-School, operated by Educational Design Co., the popular game Minecraft is used to allow children to cultivate their imagination and logical thinking while creating a three-dimensional space with cubic blocks.

“We’d like kids to enjoy learning as an introduction (to programming),” said an executive at Sam Communications.

The school accepts children from primary to middle school. Lessons are held twice a month, each lasting 90 minutes, for 9,800 yen (about $85) including tax. Free trial classes will be offered from 10:30 a.m. on March 12, 19, 20 and 27. For inquiries, call the property at 023-616-7078 (in Japanese).

(Japanese original by Taisuke Kodera, Yamagata Office)

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