national

Schools restart across Japan after short summer vacation

59 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

59 Comments
Login to comment

"Let's do our best to be able to say that we all made it through 2020, despite the novel coronavirus and the heat," he said

Good work, sir. That'll do it.

Just watch the numbers rise as the kids come home to Mama and Obaachan.

6 ( +22 / -16 )

Derek Grebe, absolutely agreed. It's all part of the "herdification" process, if you will.

6 ( +16 / -10 )

How is it even possible for the children to see the board?

There is going to be an impact on education making students sit so far away from the front!

-9 ( +9 / -18 )

Madness, the system must at all costs be maintained, tweeking anything will result in confusion. Next thing you know the students might have time to think, can't have that. The best chance of moving the start of the school year was squandered, because the cherry blossoms wouldn't cooperate. Stupid is what stupid does. Good Luck kids.

16 ( +23 / -7 )

All things considered regarding this particular coronavirus pandemic, the schools should've extended, not shortened, their summer vacations. There shouldn't be any hurry to get the kids crammed into rooms together right now. It's particularly worrying when thinking about the potential coronavirus harm to children who suffer from asthma and allergies.

14 ( +22 / -8 )

All things considered regarding this particular coronavirus pandemic, the schools should've extended, not shortened, their summer vacations. There shouldn't be any hurry to get the kids crammed into rooms together right now. It's particularly worrying when thinking about the potential coronavirus harm to children who suffer from asthma and allergies.

As a parent I agree, but trying to reason and rationalize it is futile. I have spoken to many teachers and it’s amazing to see there are quite a few teachers that think after the lockdown the stress and pressure is a bit too much for them. My kids are very tired and exhausted, I feel bad for them, but nothing we can do, sadly. Some teachers told me, kids need to catch up for the lost time for being locked down.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

"I didn't get much summer vacation, but I am happy to see my friends,"

I think this statement sums the whole situation up quite well. For elementary students school is just a party everyday.

It’s much easier to cut their vacation time than to adjust the curriculum to include online learning and/or distance learning. Sending all the kids back to school will prove to be a big mistake.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

This

 allow students to catch up on classes missed due to earlier closures

is part of the socialization of the plebes. According to this system, butts in chairs equals studying. Later in life, butts in chairs will equal working.

That there is no actual studying or working going on isn't the point; the point is that the routine and system is being maintained at all costs.

28 ( +32 / -4 )

It’s going to be very bad in about 7-10 days. I’m quite sure not all the families stayed home during the break.

Especially with all this heat, why not stay home a little longer. 1-2 weeks of school is not a big deal.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Kids are suffering all due to selfish irresponsible adults.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

Yeah, right, we started down here on August 11th, or were supposed to, but due to the surge in covid cases most of the ES and JHS on the main island of Okinawa are still closed until at least the 28th.

The Gov raised the alert level to the highest (Level 4) level and nearly all the HS's are closed too, with the exception of 3rd year HS kids, who just "have to" prepare for university entrance exams or employment, so it's "OK" for them to go to school, during the extended "Emergency Declaration" and it's also ok for tourists to run around the island, but everyone else is supposed to "stay home".

Guess what,....few people are staying home, and lots of kids are on the streets!

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Interesting how the photo shows all the kids wearing masks. Photo Op??

Just the other day, I passed a high school in Ota-ku along Tama River with its windows open. The class was packed with kids. No one was wearing a mask.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

Through every plague there are casualties, sadly but the human race manages to survive. The difference is back in the day the plagues were not man made but naturally born. This one seems to be like a computer virus / worm that takes a life of its own and while the body tries its best its actual man made drugs that helps the body fight back, question is for how long as there are changes in everyone's body every day occurring.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

A pound to a penny says we'll be back to the Good old days of six-day schoolweek as standard this time next year.

If in doubt, step back 40 years.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Many of you guys probably have no kids or living in a rich household.

Do you think that kids care about a Virus? Absolutely Not! They want to meet their friends at school and they want to play with them.

And even the parents are relieved that schools are open earlier, because they have also have to go back to work.

Only in rich households, where only one parent needs to work, it is easy to say keep the schools longer close.

But in ordinary households where both parents have to work, (like almost 99% of the japanese households), to get food on the table and to pay rent, there is nobody who can take care of the kids at home.

And why are people always continue to say, let us see after 7-10 days or 2 weeks...we are waiting since 8 months for the "after 2 weeks" prediction.

-8 ( +12 / -20 )

That there is no actual studying or working going on

You can accuse Japanese schools of many things, but there is plenty of studying going on. Enough for literacy in a language with 2000 characters and world-leading STEM scores.

https://www.nsf.gov/nsb/sei/edTool/data/highschool-08.html

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Especially with all this heat, why not stay home a little longer. 1-2 weeks of school is not a big deal.

Until recently most of the schools didn’t even have air-conditioning (except in the teachers lounge) that is a failed argument that you could never bring up to any teacher in this country.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

In other words, this means "we can't do online learning because it's too mendoukusai and we don't like change. So instead of changing with the times and keeping people safe, let's do what we always do and cram kids inside a small, clustered, class because that's the ONLY way they can learn"

Of course, I get the social aspects of it, but that above is Japanese education in a nutshell.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

My family in England, with kids at regular state-run schools, are amazed and disappointed that a country with such a futuristic reputation as Japan has can't figure out how to do online learning. My 10-year-old nephew has been getting online lessons from March, and can't believe that my daughter, in ultra-modern Tokyo has to go to the school every few weeks, pick up some textbooks and plough through them on her own, with no input from the teacher.

Then she gets to sit in an assembly hall with 200 other kids to get tested on what nobody taught her.

It's a disgrace. Monolithic, institutionalised fossilisation.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

How is it even possible for the children to see the board?

They might not be that far away from the board as it looks. The wide angle lens (probably somewhere between 10 to 15mm) used for the photo makes the illusion of things being farther and wider.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I used to seat on the perfect spot where photographer is at. Nice view through the window, daydreaming.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Do you think that kids care about a Virus? Absolutely Not! They want to meet their friends at school and they want to play with them

That's why they need adults around them, taking care of them and knowing what's best for them.

But you're very right. In a house where both parents need to work on order to keep the family afloat, must be insanely difficult to have the kids at home this while time. Tough times, indeed.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

At least the kids are all wearing masks (compare in the US, no mask wearing) and social distancing. COVID will be around for a long time and everyone needs to move with their lives (kids and adults) albeit with modificaitons (mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing etc. ). So may I suggest the additional precaution - when your kids get home, make sure that they take a shower upon arriving home; spray their uniform with sanitizer / do not re-use their clothes (anyway in this heat they should be doing it anyway) - put it to be laundered. I also suggest do not do "ofuro" / baths or do not share anyway. I know that this is not a 100% guarantee for not catching COVID from family members but it will help to lessen the risk as we all try to learn to live with this virus.

Keep safe everyone. If anyone else have other suggestions / recommendations, i would love to hear about it.

I notice that everyone are just so full of criticism, which to be honest really does not help anyone but just makes it sound like soar-puss/unhappy people.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Yeah, they need to makeup for lost time.

And the parents need to work.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

That's why they need adults around them, taking care of them and knowing what's best for them.

And that's why it's better for them to be at school than at home by themselves.

Even if a parent is at home kids will go out and mingle unsupervised

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@Trinjap

I notice that everyone are just so full of criticism, which to be honest really does not help anyone.

I 100% agree with you!

Many many criticism here about Japan and Japan's handling in almost all topics!

People are fast and easy with criticism here, but they never come up with a suggestion or a solution that matches the "real life"!

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

''A teacher told pupils that to prevent heat exhaustion, they can take off their masks as long as they maintain social distancing.''

There it is. There is already no social distancing in schools, but the students were doing a good job of keeping masks on and washing hands. Once the first kid says he's hot, many others will follow, and as we know if you wear a mask, but don't, and we are indoors in a crowded environment...your mask becomes pointless.

Opening schools is fine...dropping the guard like this is not.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

edit: '...If you wear a mask, but I don't....'

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Monty

People are fast and easy with criticism here, but they never come up with a suggestion or a solution that matches the "real life"!

There were perfectly feasible suggestions in these comments as well, if you'd just bother to read them.

Just like many countries e.g. in Europe, Japan could implement online studying also in elementary and JHS, online feedback system, online materials, and at least introduce a rotation system, so that the classrooms wouldn't be so crammed up. They could also scrap up some of their almost seremonial routines (e.g. shouting their greetings together, without masks), at least for the duration of the pandemic.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

...also, I get that there may be issues if young kids would stay home for longer, in cases where both of the parents need to work, but surely the older kids (say, above 10) can manage by themselves while their parents are at work (as long as it's a 'normal' 7-8 hours day, not 12 hours..). At least if one of the parents makes sure to be available by phone at all times, or other relative/responsible adult can be reached by the kid when necessary.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

This is still the first wave. Second will come in the winter and the third wave will come next year imported from third world countries. That will mean the SARS-CoV-2 virus will dwindle in 2022.

it is insane to limit/prevent education and businesses for 2 years. We just have to modify and carry on and accept it. Like HIV.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

This very subject was being talked about on the news this morning, one school in Yamanashi, showed all the kids in the classroom, wearing masks, (no social distancing what-so-ever) the ac turned on, windows wide open, and all the kids and teacher, wiping their brows from the sweat that was pouring off of them.

The temperature in the room was 34.5C and they commented too about how all the kids were drinking water at break times, not just because they were thirsty(sarcasm), but to help prevent any cases of heat exhaustion too!

What the hell is the point of using ac with the host arsed winds blowing into the classroom and children being slow-roasted like ribs in the oven?

16 ( +17 / -1 )

@Vinke

Do you have kids?

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

“At least the kids are all wearing masks”

And?

This link has some perspective on COVID-excess.

https://www.skynews.com.au/details/_6181809171001

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@Yubaru we both know it's training, could use the AC ? In a more appropriate manner, but it's better to teach the kids that their future is going to be uncomfortable and full of tedious tasks in an uncomfortable environment. It's education Japanese style no matter what the cost get the job done, please the masters. As life flickers away they can take solace in their sacrifice for the benefit of those above them was worth it. ;-)

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Even though that the kids summer break is shortened, it’s very understandable why the schools would do this, considering the days lost. I mean, I’m a big fan of summer break, especially since I’m from the US, but even I understand the reasoning behind this.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

My family in England, with kids at regular state-run schools, are amazed and disappointed that a country with such a futuristic reputation as Japan has can't figure out how to do online learning. My 10-year-old nephew has been getting online lessons from March, and can't believe that my daughter, in ultra-modern Tokyo has to go to the school every few weeks, pick up some textbooks and plough through them on her own, with no input from the teacher.

Schools in "England" have been closed for four months. My kids here in Nagano have missed about three weeks in total, and have been attending school as normal the rest of the time. How many schools in Tokyo are closed?

Like the cliched photos of geishas looking at smartphones, Japan is a country of old and new contrasts. It is not futuristic or ultramodern. Most schools themselves look like something out of 1970s Eastern Europe. If you see schoolkids marching around on sports day etc., you'd think the war was still on.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I wonder if its actually necessary to have the windows open when its so hot. Many places where adults congregate, offices and commuter trains, to say nothing of hostess bars, have nowhere near that level of ventilation, and they are all still open. Children should not be forced to take precautions adults are clearly not taking themselves.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@kohakuebisu I would stop getting your U.K. news from the Daily Mail. Schools have not been closed since March, children of key workers have been able to attend in person, my niece is a key worker and her daughters have been going to school. Also, teachers have been giving lessons online, and some schools have started to allow children back part time.

Schools have not been running normally but to say they have been closed and children have not been getting lessons is wrong.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

You mean solutions that require effort or being involved and creative as a parent ? OMG

There were perfectly feasible suggestions in these comments as well, if you'd just bother to read them.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

That's precisely the problem with online lessons for kids, it needs adult supervision.

And does anybody know how well online education works for kids or if it works at all?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Funny to see al the comments from the mask police, doomsayers and fermongers. Viruses and illnesses have always existed and will continue to do so, do you really want to live in fear forever with your face hidden, apart from other human beings and arguing with everyone who disagrees with you?

We all should be thankful that we live in a country that can only request but not force people to comply with these nonsense rules, although it seem that some people like to have their freedom taken away or been told what to do by daddy government.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

freedom taken away

Hahaha you're thinking too much but not enough

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@El Rata

Awesome Post!

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Was watching this on the news yesterday and it was so heartbreaking that they were sweating like fountains because of the mask and also because of keeping windows open. Surely they should have let them stay home longer until it gets cooler. No online classes? A lot of parents are probably WFH at the moment so could be done for those who can stay home.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

such a futuristic reputation as Japan has can't figure out how to do online learning

Actually, home broadband penetration isn't as high as you'd expect, as Japan had 'smart' phones before the rest of us, making the former seem superfluous.

My 11 year-old did his annual week at the local school recently, sans PC. His friends there have game consoles, but few computers.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Monty

People are fast and easy with criticism here, but they never come up with a suggestion or a solution that matches the "real life"!

Monty, which will you choose, being death or being brain death ?.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

I don't know if going back to school right now is a good move or is it a bad move. on one hand you have the heat, so that is possible a bad idea, social distancing, C19 virus cross contamination ie food trays door handles, etc, its a good thing that the kids for there mental health seeing there friends, the main good point is education, a whole bunch of children have missed out on vital education, I am sure this will have latter implications when it comes to uni or finding a job in the work place. At some point children and adults will have got to go back to school or work despite this effects of the virus.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

See that kid pinching the front of his mask where his mouth is? THAT is one reason why wearing them doesn't matter. That kid will then touch other things, including other kids, likely, and they'll pinch their masks and wipe their mouths with the backs of their hands, pull the mask down to pick their nose and rub their eyes. In a couple of weeks, just when Obon infections are pushing up the numbers, we'll start hearing about classes closed due to school absences, but kids will be encouraged not to seek testing, clusters will grow bigger, etc.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

is this for real ?? like the ministry of education in japan is mentally ill i think or probably like those people who think corona is not real !!???

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I feel bad for the kids going back to school here. The heat index has been in the 'danger' zone because it's been about 90% humidity (even if we 'only' reach 30), and no schools here have fans or aircon.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

See that kid pinching the front of his mask where his mouth is? THAT is one reason why wearing them doesn't matter.

Yes, and some people wear their seat belt incorrectly, don't wash their hands, or don't wear a condom correctly. Still, if the majority of people do it correctly, its worth it. Why do you think the United States has such a high infection rate? Its not because of kids like that, its because of the "rights and freedumbs" people.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

“Like the cliched photos of geishas looking at smartphones, Japan is a country of old and new contrasts. It is not futuristic or ultramodern. Most schools themselves look like something out of 1970s Eastern Europe. If you see schoolkids marching around on sports day etc., you'd think the war was still on.”

I find myself in agreement on this

3 ( +5 / -2 )

If you see schoolkids marching around on sports day etc., you'd think the war was still on.

What’s wrong with school kids marching around for sports day?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Bugle boy, "What’s wrong with school kids marching around for sports day?" everything, its not necessary for any child to march, a child should be playing and learning, if you want to march, join the army, navy etc. if your argument goes down the rout of discipline and organisation, you can do this in many other ways, sports days can challenge children in other ways, and should be for fun, and bringing out the best in a child.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Bugle boy, "What’s wrong with school kids marching around for sports day?" everything, its not necessary for any child to march, a child should be playing and learning, if you want to march, join the army, navy etc. if your argument goes down the rout of discipline and organisation, you can do this in many other ways, sports days can challenge children in other ways, and should be for fun, and bringing out the best in a child.

@Brian Wheway

I've been to several sports festivals in Japan. The kids love marching and doing all the other activities. The most hated events are running - and it's usually the girls that don't like it. Marching is simply walking in time to the music. There's no North Korea style marching going on. But they do more than march. They do folk dancing, cheer leading - they LOVE doing that!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What a great example given to kids, with the most scared parents generation ever ! Those kids will sue you in the future, for the child abuse they are subjected to. Ruining their childhood with those idiotics masks and anti-social measures. Worse, those things are going to make them physically and mentally sick.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thanks El rata, great comment :

El RataAug. 18  01:14 pm JST

Funny to see al the comments from the mask police, doomsayers and fermongers. Viruses and illnesses have always existed and will continue to do so, do you really want to live in fear forever with your face hidden, apart from other human beings and arguing with everyone who disagrees with you?

We all should be thankful that we live in a country that can only request but not force people to comply with these nonsense rules, although it seem that some people like to have their freedom taken away or been told what to do by daddy government.

The other day, there was a tv reportage about a 100 years old japanese war veterant. He looked like in his 70s.

Unfortunately, he survived war injuries fighting in Burma jungles, to see today so-called Journalist come to is house to interview wearing a mask ! That must be very disturbing for him to see what the people as become....sad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My children returned to school and they are very happy to be back. Even with the new rules for the virus, the attitude and manners of all the children have change for the better, showing more "respect" for each other. Even some of the teachers are showing signs of more concern for the children's over all welfare. Interestingly none are showing "extreme" fear for the virus, keeping the relationships with respect.

So therefore, there is a "good" side to all this.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites