Recent articles on lack of compulsory education for NJ children


Hi Blog. Some articles substantiating the emerging issue of what happens when you don’t make compulsory education a requirement for non-Japanese children. How nice of Japan to bring NJ laborers all the way over here but not take care of their children’s educational needs. Thanks for forgetting to include that in your educational reforms last December, PM Abe. Arudou Debito in Sapporo


Over 22,000 foreign kids need Japanese-language guidance at school
Japan Today/Kyodo Wednesday, August 1, 2007 at 07:06 EDT
Courtesy of Matt Dioguardi

TOKYO — The number of foreign children attending public elementary and secondary schools in Japan who are in need of Japanese-language guidance as of last September increased 8% from a year earlier to a record high of 22,413, the education ministry said Tuesday.

The figure, which has risen for four consecutive years, covers foreign children who go to public elementary, junior high and senior high schools, according to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Among the students, 39% of them speak Portuguese as their first language, 20% Chinese, 15% Spanish and 11% Tagalog. (Kyodo News)


1% of foreign children not in school
Yomiuri Shinbun Aug 3, 2007>

Japanese original at
Courtesy of Matt Dioguardi

At least one percent of registered foreign school-age children living in the country do not attend either primary or middle school, according to an Education, Science and Technology Ministry survey. In addition, the whereabouts of 17.5 percent of children registered as foreign nationals is unknown, making it impossible to confirm whether they are going to school. The number of foreign children who do not attend school is believed to be much higher than 1 percent, according to ministry officials.

The ministry suspects that such a situation probably encourages juvenile delinquency and the illegal employment of such children. It will shortly establish a panel of experts to discuss measures to deal with the problem.

Between fiscal 2005 and fiscal 2006, the ministry asked the Shiga prefectural and 11 municipal governments, including Ota, Gunma Prefecture, and Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, where many foreign nationals live, to survey the ratio of out-of-school foreign children for the first time.

According to the survey released Tuesday, of the 9,889 registered foreign children aged between 6 and 15 subject to compulsory education, 112, or 1.1 percent, did not take steps to enter primary or middle school or transfer to such schools after moving from other locations.

Furthermore, 1,732, or 17.5 percent, did not live at their registered addresses, making it impossible to contact them.

The ministry believes some have already left the country without notifying municipal governments, while others might have moved to other municipalities in the country.

It suspects that some children do not go to school after their families moved to new areas.

Asked why they did not send their children to school, 15.6 percent of parents, the largest group, cited a “lack of money,” 12.6 percent cited the “language barrier,” and 10.4 percent said they had “immediate plans to return to their home countries.”

Some parents also said their children had to work or take care of their younger siblings.

The parents were allowed to give more than one answer.


‘22,413 need extra schooling’

On Tuesday, the ministry released data which said that as of Sept. 1 last year, of the foreign children and students attending public schools in the country, 22,413 at 5,475 schools needed extra teaching for Japanese language–an increase of 194 schools and 1,721 children from the previous year.

By mother-tongue, 8,633 spoke Portuguese, 4,471 spoke Chinese and 3,279 spoke Spanish.


MOE’s original report cited in the article (Japanese):


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