Minato Ward is a fierce battleground for international schools. This spring, the elementary school of Capital Tokyo International School (CTIS), led by Takahiro Sato, founder of LITALICO Corporation, opened in Minato-ku.
The school has also announced plans to open a kindergarten and middle school in April 2023 and a high school in April 2027.
Our editorial team visited the newly opened CTIS and talked to Mr. Joshua Oyo, COO, about the school!
International School as Startup
CTIS is an international school whose mission is to provide distinctive and practical knowledge. Focusing on the ability to actually “apply” knowledge in a rapidly changing society, CTIS has four distinctive features.
【Features of CTIS】
- PBL (Practical-Based Learning)
- STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics)
- International Baccalaureate Curriculum (application for PYP candidacy in 2022)
- Trilinguallanguage acquisition (English, Japanese, and Mandarin)
CTIS aims to foster problem-solving learning, which can be used in everyday society, and practical education connected to PBL. Simultaneously our STEAM curriculum is leavage with practical PBL, promoting synergy between the two class types. The results are highly effective learning experiences for CTIS students that are also practical in application.
An important aspect of practical PBL is that it is taught in small classroom environments by faculty members with acute business sense and by practitioners who are currently active in the business world,.The teacher-student ratio at CTIS is targeted to be 1:10.
The tuition is cost-effective!
Some people may imagine that the small teacher-student ratio of 1:10, combined with the IB curriculum, trilingual education in Japanese, English, and Chinese, and practical PBL education would lead to high tuition fees.
However, the tuition at CTIS is very reasonable when compared to most international schools. We are not only promoting a cosmopolitan environment and equality in terms of learning, but also in terms of tuition.
Parents often ask us how we are able to offer such high quality classes and operate the school at such low tuition rates, and this is largely due to our founder, Mr. Sato.
In addition to being the founder of LITALICO, Sato is also an angel investor. He has invested in about 40 startups at this time, and with the practical resources of his many portfolio companies, he is able to provide CTIS students with hands-on learning opportunities while keeping tuition cost low.
Among the unique classes offered by CTIS will be a class on FinTech taught by a partner at Anderson Mori & Tomotsune / New York State attorney, a class on accounting taught by a CPA, and visits to high-profile start-up companies, which are not available to ordinary schools and which even adults would be willing to pay to attend.
While attending university, Mr. Sato commercialized facilities for the disabled and nursing homes for the elderly. Later as a new graduate, he was appointed as a section manager of the Nagano prefectural office and then, at the age of 24, became a director of the prefectural office. After departing the prefectural office, he founded LITALICO Inc. (a publicly listed company on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange), which provides employment support and assistance for people who have difficulty finding employment, becoming the elected representative director for the company. Subsequently, he retired from LITALICO in order to run for the mayor of Sendai. Currently, Mr. Sato is a serial entrepreneur with his company SEKAISHA and oversees a medical corporation group, as well as recently founding the CTIS corporation. As an angel investor, Mr. Sato supports about 40 start-up companies in the entertainment business such as movies and is participating in the establishment of companies researching and developing pharmaceuticals. He is also supporting the education of children, our future leaders of tomorrow, by establishing an incorporated education foundation.
A refined campus with minimal under utilized space
The CTIS campus may appear compact at first glance, with only two floors in a building in Minami-Azabu, but we have thoroughly cut down on unused space to create efficient and flexible school areas.