September 03, 2003 1 min read

Cultural Rewards

In an attempt to close the gap that exists between the increasingly important role that foreign countries, cultures, and languages play in world affairs and Americans’ lack of international knowledge, the Goldman Sachs Foundation and the Asia Society have established an award for excellence in international education.

Starting in November, five cash prizes of $25,000 each will be awarded to schools or other entities that stress international languages and cultures in classroom curricula, teacher preparation, and technology.

Elementary and secondary schools, colleges, states, and media or technology groups are eligible to apply for the annual award, which was announced this summer.

“In schools across the country, educators are grappling with how to prepare young people to succeed in and make meaningful contributions to a world that is increasingly complex and interconnected,” Stephanie Bell-Rose, the president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the international banking and investment firm Goldman Sachs Group Inc., said in a statement.

The new prize is part of a continuing effort by the Asia Society, a nonprofit group in New York City, to promote cultural understanding of other countries and cultures in U.S. classrooms. More information is available at

Free Child Care

The Diet, or Japanese parliament, has passed legislation requiring employers to provide child care for the offspring of all their workers.

The measure, which goes into effect in 2005, is intended to help boost the country’s declining birthrate by making it easier for working families to find child care.

The average cost for infant care in Japan is 38,000 yen, or $318 U.S. dollars, per month, according to the Japanese Embassy in Washington. Recent figures from the World Bank show that the average individual income in Japan is $2,967 per month. Nongovernmental organizations and companies with fewer than 300 employees are exempt from the new mandate.

Companies that are required to provide child care—and foot the entire bill—can contract with outside providers to operate a facility.

The new law is set to expire in 2014.

Michelle Galley