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Abe to consider starting academic year in September

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It would align Japan's school calendar with much of the rest of the world. Germany, France, the UK and USA all have school year's starting around September. Germany starts in August but not that different. It would make it a lot easier for Japanese students to study abroad timing wise. Also, with a longer summer vacation it might decrease the concentration of summer travel since it would be spread out over a longer time. And... students from abroad would have it much easier too. I thinks it is a fantastic idea.

31 ( +36 / -5 )

Follow international standards.

27 ( +35 / -8 )

This is all very well, but what happens to teacher salaries until September? I’m thinking more of the part-time / contract teachers here. Surely they need more than a one off payment of 100k right?

16 ( +20 / -4 )

It doesn't matter when it starts, Japan's education system is a total mess. Children need an education that prepares them for adult life. This one has got hardly anything to do with it.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Neither the chair spacing nor lineup represents social distancing of 2m. No one can follow this very simple action.

Your”e forgetting that this is Japan and Japanese people are super special, which is why the markings on the floors in conbinis and supermarkets are only one meter apart.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Do it!

11 ( +15 / -4 )

This is all very well, but what happens to teacher salaries until September?

Get Abe and Aso to donate.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

A lot of countries in Asia don't follow September to June for reasons of climate.

What? The climate? Seriously? You think that keeping students in classrooms longer during the hot months is why they don’t follow the September-June school year? Any links to support your assertion?

9 ( +13 / -4 )

My daughter's School in Saitama has already started, albiet online.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Neither the chair spacing nor lineup represents social distancing of 2m. No one can follow this very simple action.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

But cherry blossoms don’t bloom in September.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

People are more or less paying for nothing.

Incorrect. Private schools are sending students homework and quizzes.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

It has to be from Sep or Next Year from Jan. The outbreak has taught them many things including 'How nicer is it to breathe in my countryside village' and Tokushima Prefecture will have more real people than the Kowai dolls.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Would tuition from April to September this year be refunded? People are more or less paying for nothing.

My kids go to a private international school. They have moved everything online, with live lessons streamed daily. I teach at a private university in the Tokyo area, and we have moved our classes online. It is a MASSIVE amount of work... much more than if we had had classes in-person as usual. Also, because the online classes are new for the students, I have to make myself readily available for any questions they may have, so I am constantly replying to emails and LINE messages. So I don't know what you are talking about... people are in fact paying for A LOT more than what they normally get.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

So what do they plan to do for the next four months....

Why dont they just put it to a public vote I mean they can manage that right?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This is a country the fifth month into the pandemic still deliberating how to increase pcr testing.

Before the switch finally occurs 2 academic years would have passed.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@thelessdeceived: what you wrote is what is happening exactly also in Europe. The pattern is the same everywhere. Especially about the killing of small businesses. I thought it was only in my Country that this is happening, but I noticed that the small businesses are hurt hugely everywhere.

Is this a planned pandemic or a situation where morally corrupt politicians and world leaders are taking advantage of an opportunity?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@kohakuebisu: please, don't say things like "thanks to coronavirus". The life of many people has been ruined. Not every job can be made by "teleworking". Small businesses are dying everywhere, while huge companies like Amazon are becoming always richer. Don't say things like "thanks to coronavirus".

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Like someone else said, since cherry blossoms only bloom in the spring, and teachers will still be expected to cover the same material in a shorter period of time and fulfill their obligations of overseeing some school club or event, there will be too much push back for it to happen.

Japan doesn't do well in dynamic situations! I mean look at how this pandemic is being handled!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

At the beginning of the Meiji period schools started in September, but as the financial year ends in March, schools decided it would be easier to work out their budgets if they aligned it with this.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It makes perfect sense to start school like the rest of the northern hemisphere since the summer weather makes learning a living hell in schools that are baking hot during July and August. Then there are any exchange programmes where the dates get out of sync because the rest are not there while Japan is or visa-versa.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japan is finally thinking of joining the vast majority of the rest of the world in respect to the start of the school year. Amazing!

My concern is this will simply mean the students have more homework over the summer vacation.

Hagiuda also indicated that state and local governments should jointly take responsibility if they were to introduce a new academic year system.

Wow, Kyodo, you don’t know there are no states in Japan? Smooth.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

If this is implemented, how will it affect the current school year if schools have already started online schooling? Shortened or extended school year?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So, let the "show" begin.

September start, more or less global system.

As it was said already: what will happen to the salaries?

No money for 6 months or will the government pay all my expenses?

And what about the students? Online lessons for all? Now that would require quite some buying (computers for all!).

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Yours truly has a 6-year old, soon to be 7, who became a school kid at the beginning of April.

If he started from September, he’ll already be 7 - 7 years old and only starting school?

If Japan wants to align with global standards, don’t they need to have kids starting school a year earlier too, when they are 5 / 6?

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Incorrect. Private schools are sending students homework and quizzes.

Yes, they are, but they aren't being taught anything. I also want to emphasize that being in a classroom environment amongst peers is really important for social development. If online learning becomes the new norm, kids are going to have a hard time adjusting in a social setting where they are actually requires to "talk" to people face to face.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

It doesn't matter when it starts, Japan's education system is a total mess. Children need an education that prepares them for adult life. This one has got hardly anything to do with it.

Pot-kettle-black...

Graduate hiring is done in April so the academic year must end before then.

No it is not a "must" it is a tradition, and many businesses, large and small are already adapting.

One example, the airline industry, has already "hired" hundreds if not thousands of "new" employees already for the NEXT fiscal year!

They hire year round! When the employees start is something totally different and is NOT tied to April 1st by anything other than tradition!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

They've been talking about doing it for a long time now. With this coronavirus, now looks like as good a time as any to implement such a plan.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It's a great idea for the teachers too. Currently, they may get re-assigned to a new school in late March and have to move immediatley, start their new school and prepare for a new school year, all in the space of a few days. My missus has had to do this twice in the last 5 years and it's almost inhuman. Teachers and kids deserve to be able to forget about school for a few weeks in summer.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Massive change, but doable if all schools agree.

Would tuition from April to September this year be refunded.

People are more or less paying for nothing.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Chip Star

Incorrect. Private schools are sending students homework and quizzes.

Many are conducting online classes as well (as is my IB school).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Many are conducting online classes as well (as is my IB school).

Correct, but not all. There are very few Japanese schools that reach the IB curriculum. So few in the Tokyo area that if you are in this area, I can likely guess the school you work at or attend.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Th Philippines doesn't follow September to June, that's easily verifiable by a Google search.

Good thing I wasn’t contesting this or you’d have a point.

Believe it or not, not every country on earth has the same weather patterns as your home country.

Really?! No way?! This simply can’t be true. Everywhere has the exact same climate as the United States. Never mind the US has multiple climates because it’s the third largest country in the world.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Cram schools will be raking in the dough because entrance examinations will not wait until the pandemic is over. They will still be face-to-face. As many parents know, that is all that matters for the average child's success.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Most - not all - countries start the new school year after the summer break and this goes for Southern Hemisphere as well as Northern - eg Australia & NZ start in Jan/Feb & France/US in Sept/Oct.

The benefits I see of such a system are the summer break gives the students, teachers, staff valuable time to relax, refresh and prepare for the coming new school year. Also depending on the place, summer weather is more conducive to outdoor friend/family activities including travel, sports, social/cultural events etc.

From my personal experiences here and observations, March in Japan is chaotic. Children have a really short time to adjust to new teachers/classes before the early April start and it is especially busy/panicky for those transitioning from primary - jnr high - snr high - university or college. So much to do in such a short time. In the case of graduating high school students many have only a few weeks to get over the stress of the past few months of exam hell, take up acceptance into a university, more often than not move to a new city, new accommodation, new life etc etc. It can be particularly stressful for family members also.

Having a longer break to allow a more relaxed period to adjust for all concerned is the absolute positive to be taken from such a change.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japan SHOULD do this -- one of the problems Japanese universities and business schools have been complaining about for years now is the lack of foreign investment and students due to the differing school years; a student who finishes their second year at the end of April in the US, for example, doesn't want to wait a year to do their overseas experience if coming to Japan, or start in second term, etc.

But, this IS Japan, a country as quick to change as hell is to freeze over. The old guys who can barely stay awake in the DIET will talk about how change is unnecessary and how April was good enough for them, how it will "confuse the public", etc. Won't happen.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I think I will have apoplexy if this happens in my lifetime! Be great for everyone overall, but I certainly dont think business will willingly go along!

2 ( +8 / -6 )

If they ever wanted to now is the chance, the problem being a generation of kids who didn’t receive enough schooling in 2020 who will probably be more unruly once they go back in the classroom..

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Questions

What happens now to September?

What about kids born in September are they suddenly a grade higher?

Hiring season is April, what do students do July-April?

Do parents have to pay another six months school fees

1 in 12 University students are considering quitting, how does this help?

What about schools that are open do they now close?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

All of the people who are saying "Do It" are definitely not ALTs. How will we survive until September? This is not the time to make a major change in the system because it's convenient for politicians. Screw them.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

What? The climate? Seriously? You think that keeping students in classrooms longer during the hot months is why they don’t follow the September-June school year? Any links to support your assertion?

Th Philippines doesn't follow September to June, that's easily verifiable by a Google search.

Believe it or not, not every country on earth has the same weather patterns as your home country.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Has Abe has no concept of online learning?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Speaking of climate and summer, what would changing the schedule do for other institutions like the summer baseball tournament at Koushien?

My eldest is only 3rd year JHS, but I understand the idea with clubs is that kids only do them to until the summer of the third year. This means that once Koshien for example is over, the third years get kicked out of the baseball clubs so they can then cram for entrance exams. Most other clubs are the same, with the odd exception, winter sports like skiing for example. It means with the current school year, third years only do club for about three-four months, with the big national tournaments in the summer.

What I fear this means is that sports as currently arranged will kick against shifting the start of the school year. Even if people can imagine kids doing schools differently, they may fail to imagine kids doing sports differently.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Until this change will be confirmed by all necessary bureaucrats, it will take probably more than 1 year.

Until then, the Corona Virus Problem is solved already.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Having a son who is currently in 3rd year Junior high, for us it is a great idea. We are worried about how he is going to be able to catch up on the time already lost let alone the amount of time to come. The amount of school work packed into just one week of school here is hard to miss. He plays soccer and a few times a year he has time off school for toresen and finds it hard to catch up after just a short time. I’m not sure he could catch up and get good enough grades to even sit entrance exams to get into any High school here. Having Australians for Parents is not going to help him much with anything other than his English studies.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"It will be a chance to change society greatly."

She learns her lessons well. War and pandemic are what made our societies change in history. I don’t expect Abe and his undead mummy Aso to come up with such perspective.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

All the questions being asked here about age, when will kids start, etc etc etc, are MOOT right now.

For this to actually occur would take massive work and cooperation between not only the education ministry but business as well.

HS's (outside of private one's) are under the purview, for the most part, of each individual prefecture, ES,JHS, and Kindergartens are for the over whelming majority, run and operated by each village, town or city. Integrating schedules, testing, holiday times, and a host of other issues would take a huge amount of work and meetings.

I would be shocked to see it happen this year, if ever.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

School start dates

Guatemala = Second Monday of January

South Africa = January 13

Australia = January 27

Kenya = January

Malaysia = Early January

Singapore = Beginning of January

Costa Rica = Early February

Honduras = Early February

New Zealand = Between February 1 – 5

Brazil = First week of February

Chile = Late February

There are other countries that begin later in the year:

Argentina = Beginning of March

South Korea = Beginning of March

Japan = April 1

India = June

Indonesia = Mid-July

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Having a son who is currently in 3rd year Junior high, for us it is a great idea. We are worried about how he is going to be able to catch up on the time already lost let alone the amount of time to come. 

With the disruption already, it would be wrong for next year to come along and just use the same old entrance procedures for SHS and universities. The classic "good student" path in Japan is for kids in JHS and SHS to put club ahead of studies for two years, and then catch up in the third year when club tails off. In some schools, kids are forced to join clubs, and are then forced to turn up every time the club says so. If these kids then get a highly disrupted third year of school like this one, they will be denied the chance to catch up. To treat kids fairly, entrance procedures next year must take this into account, giving more weighting to teachers' recommendations etc.

As you can probably guess, my child has been in a sports club. This has also involved her getting pressganged into other unrelated sports to make up the numbers just so the school could have an ekiden team and a volleyball team. I would hate all this extra stuff she did as a representative of the school to ultimately affect her education.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"We have to think of new responses if the (outbreak) cannot be contained under the current measures and legislation,"

LOL! Here's a clue Abe...the current response...dithering around doing nothing, is in no way going to contain the outbreak. September looks extremely optimistic at this stage. Hard lock-down should have been instigated when Hokkaido went into State of Emergency. A month of financial pain would have brought things under control as demonstrated by several countries. The road we are on will see this run on at least until the end of the year.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@thelessdeceived: what you wrote is what is happening exactly also in Europe. The pattern is the same everywhere. Especially about the killing of small businesses. I thought it was only in my Country that this is happening, but I noticed that the small businesses are hurt hugely everywhere.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Mirai Hayashi

Incorrect. Private schools are sending students homework and quizzes.

Yes, they are, but they aren't being taught anything. I also want to emphasize that being in a classroom environment amongst peers is really important for social development. If online learning becomes the new norm, kids are going to have a hard time adjusting in a social setting where they are actually requires to "talk" to people face to face.

This is not necessarily true. You're making a fairly large generalization there. I'm teaching my IB classes online, and my IB-prep class (1年生) as well. My son's school has morning homeroom online, and the work for the day is set - and he does that in his own time at home.

I do agree that the social development aspect isn't there, but this is short term: it's not forever. Even if it's until September/October, kids are not "going to have a hard time adjusting in a social setting where they are actually requires to "talk" to people face to face."

That's a tad overblown.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A month of financial pain would have brought things under control as demonstrated by several countries

Which countries? I'm only asking because I sincerely wanna know. Just give me the names of the countries and I'll search for myself

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As others mentioned, the companies will oppose it, and what happens to the salaries of part timers and temp staff?

The idea may sound good on paper, but it will never work.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Graduate hiring is done in April so the academic year must end before then.

This is a perfect reason for shifting the school year. To force companies out of the mindset that they can only and must only take fresh graduates and they must start work in April. This needs to change to make Japan more competitive.

Maybe its only a handful of people, but thanks to coronavirus, someone, somewhere will be able to continue teleworking even when this is over. This is a definite improvement and would have not happened without Covid-19. The sky did not fall in when circumstances forced Japanese companies to be more flexible, and it will not fall in should the school year move.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@John: do you think everyone is actually happy with online lessons? Actually, no. I doubt many Italian teachers are happy right now. And most of parents of small children aren't happy at all. They are forced to waste their time to download homeworks, stamp and scann stuff, after hours spent online already for their own teleworking.

They are basically online their whole day. This is a digital slavery.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@John B: I hadn't seen your post yet! Same complaints here in Italy! Teachers are actually overworking because of online teaching, and also the parents are stressed as hell for the reasons that I said.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Coincidentally, the calendar worked well for my daughter. She graduated in May so had much time to prepare for her September admission to an American college. I sent her to a summer English language course her college held both to buff up her English and acclimate her to her new environment.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The other thing about moving the start date to September is that kids will be off over the hottest period, like July August, it cant be fun being stuck in a sweltering humid hot class room during this time, and PE teacher won't be forcing kids to run around in the heat as well, so I can see a few benefits to the change.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Brian Wheway

The other thing about moving the start date to September is that kids will be off over the hottest period, like July August, it cant be fun being stuck in a sweltering humid hot class room during this time, and PE teacher won't be forcing kids to run around in the heat as well, so I can see a few benefits to the change.

Kids are already off from mid-late July, through August...

Yubaru

Teachers dont have a problem, the fulltime or even yearly hires are paid, and would be paid. Fully hired teachers here are government employees. No need to worry about them.

PT one's or hourly one's are a different story.

Yup. Tho' I suspect many of the commenters here fall into the category you describe in your last sentence.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I am curious (I just don't know)....does any other country have this same school calendar year? I am sure there are pros and cons to changing but I was wondering about this last night

Pretty sure Korea does, maybe China too.

A lot of countries in Asia don't follow September to June for reasons of climate.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Speaking of climate and summer, what would changing the schedule do for other institutions like the summer baseball tournament at Koushien?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Actually a lot of countries don’t start school in September. Why are people saying this is international standard?

1 ( +7 / -6 )

@Zodiac Present

All of the people who are saying "Do It" are definitely not ALTs. How will we survive until September?....

Cant ALTs perform any other type of service there are plenty of jobs out there that need no experience..and yes they are hiring...McDonalds Supermarkets Convenience stores...when it comes to survival pride has to go on the shelf and you got to do what you gotta do...Ive had to do some horrible jobs to get myself through difficult situations...Look at it like this its character building..

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Next, folks who commented about summer vacation would be longer or what not, aint no way here!

Imagine the current school calendar being shifted from April to September, that's all they are thinking about right now. They usual "summer" vacation would end up being in winterish time, and the "summer" break would be the end of the school calendar.

We are talking about major problems from the start, and getting cooperation between everyone in such a short time is next to impossible here.

THAT is why Abe and the minister threw it back at everyone by stating

Education minister Koichi Hagiuda backed up line Abe's view regarding the September start, saying it would be an option if it gains wide public support.

Hagiuda also indicated that prefectural and local governments should jointly take responsibility if they were to introduce a new academic year system.

Good luck with getting 47 prefectures to agree, let alone all the cities, towns, and municipalities, and that does not even begin to talk about how businesses will deal with this, as the Japanese fiscal year ends in March, so shifting the school year to September would cause funding problems as well

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japanese by nature,don't like change,so to do such a big change would need guts to follow through.Yes,there are problems or challenges, depending on how you look at it, Personally I feel it won't happen because of what I said in my first sentence.Plus they wouldn't even introduce daylight saving, because didn't want to mess up the cows body clocks!!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

 If online learning becomes the new norm, kids are going to have a hard time adjusting in a social setting where they are actually requires to "talk" to people face to face.

Exactly! Online can help reduce boredom and give kids something to do during their days off, but it will get old right quick.

It is impossible to consider 30 1st year (ES) kids sitting in front of a computer 4 or 5 hours a day online lessons!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

the Japan you knew yesterday will be different tomorrow. Japan is just following order from the west. even now Koike is using English to speak to people...

something very fishy is coming. be careful....

Cashless society soon, hardly any small businesses, zero privacy, one government to follow later.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Pushing back the start of the academic year to September is all right. But what if the pandemic cannot be contained by then? You will have to shift the start to April again.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Reg Online lessons:My kids both got chrome books from their school, my older one, 4th year elementary, loves it. My younger one, 1st year, is a bit shy type, doesn't like it very much, often just listening. And he says it is not school. So I guess it depends on kids nature. Also, many teachers and students are just thrown into this, so they don't know how to make the best of it.

That said, I think starting the year in September would be great. One thing about this Pandemic is that nobody knows when it will be 'over', as in part of our live like flu. It might well be that next winter will turn bad again, and than students won't have the possibilities to study as much as needed for exams.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I support the calendar move to autumn for university/higher education levels where contact and exchange crisscrossing national borders are very common and encouraged. I think the proposal viable and people adaptive smoothly.

For compulsory education, the reform is possible yet more time-consuming.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@i@n: you are right, there aren't such Countries. This is an endless thing. They continue to tell us that this virus is basically forever, it doesn't work as a seasonal flu, we must get used to social distance, etc.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

While I understand the chance for change that the current hiatus presents, in reality countries all over the world begin the academic year at different times. Coordinating opening w/the US, Canada and UK is unlikely to encourage more exchange. It is fear of missing out on job hunting season tht prevents most Japanese students studying abroad for an extended period, not the start of the academic year.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hi i@n

A month of financial pain would have brought things under control as demonstrated by several countries

'Which countries? I'm only asking because I sincerely wanna know. Just give me the names of the countries and I'll search for myself'

On PC you just scroll down and it gives you the data.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-26/coronavirus-covid19-global-spread-data-explained/12089028?nw=0

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not every family/child has internet or a computer/iPad.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan is renown for pushing back upon change...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

All of the above opinions are valid, on the other hand right now the government seems to be struggling with the Corona situation, so I hardly doubt that they will go on and make a decision fast on whether to change the school year aligned with Europe or USA.

Apart from that, I didn’t see any comment regarding the school teachers who rely on their jobs as teachers as a main source of income.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Graduate hiring is done in April so the academic year must end before then.

Do you really think that the academic year has been assigned to coincide with recruiting season and not the other way round?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A moderately interesting bit of trivia is that a long time ago, the year in Europe actually changed in April, not January. April was the first month of the year and I imagine broadly aligned to Spring and Easter.

This has subsequently changed in the calendar, but still lives on in the financial year.

This historic start to the financial year is still reflected in Japan's academic year.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Carcharodon

Well actually, apart from Baseball, some other major sports here in japan have their tournaments in winter. Soccer (Fuyu kokuritsu), Rugby (Hanazono) and Basketball (Winter cup - Boys and Girls) are three are major high school televised tournaments...

Not actually accurate. The "Winter Cup" is different to "Nationals" in basketball. HS Nationals occur in summer. I am not 100% sure about Soccer/Rugby - but I suspect it's the same time. I know Athletics is summer.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I've heard a couple arguments against the move, and one was that its "too hasty". I thought, well, you aren't likely to have the opportunity to ever do this ever again. I mean, just getting students to stay home from April to August to start the new school year in September would be near impossible without a good reason. If Japan doesn't make the switch this year, it will probably never happen. The "too hasty" people need to think of a better argument.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am curious (I just don't know)....does any other country have this same school calendar year? I am sure there are pros and cons to changing but I was wondering about this last night

0 ( +2 / -2 )

That would absolutely be prudent decision by taking into consideration the other countries like UK and Canada situations. As no concrete solution could be verified yet to root out this virus thus highest priority for the safety and security shall have been given not to allow the situation become even more severe.

However, if people don’t follow what government want then all efforts shall go into vein. Therefore, not only government’s declaration or extension can improve the situation but also awareness by people is must to stay at home unless they need to go out for basic needs like foods and medical purposes only.

On the other hand, i think that the govt. must ensure that small and medium companies as well low income group can get enough courage to stay on track through financial backup.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

(cont), this is a huge change and will require considerable thought and planning to implement.

At the moment, Abe should concentrate on successfully dealing with the coronavirus.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

In theory it's good but a 3 month long summer vacation is a bad idea.

Year round school with a month(ish) long break each season has long been proven to be more affective.

If they send the kids to school through July then I suppose I'm there with it but... for me it's personally disappointing. I have a lot of work opportunities starting in late May that I've been waiting for, patiently since my daughter was small. I knew I couldn't handle the workload while she was in youchien so I compromised for when she started 1st grade which was supposed to be a month ago. If they move it to September this year I will have to pull out of the entire project. I don't have anyone to watch my daughter and I can't take care of her at home and do the work at the same time. They will definitely be sending my husband back to the office in a few weeks, I'm sure, so I guess once again goals in my life will have to take a back seat. Boy this virus is fun. Boy am I glad I was born a woman.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Int'l schools I know in Tokyo are closed for the 2020 - Spring 2021 school year as are schools in Hawaii but they are sensibly doing distance learning and students can pick up their school breakfast and lunch to take home. According to Japanese Min Education officials 'some random high schools do have some distance learning but MOE doesn't know how they are doing it, their names contact info or have a database.' No one is in charge of this country to take affirmative action. The old fogie officials haven't a clue.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

You think that keeping students in classrooms longer during the hot months is why they don’t follow the September-June school year? 

I didn't know there were hot months. I thought months were hot or cold because of climate, which differ in every region.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I can't see this happening this year... many/most universities have already started their term online. A lot of the international and private schools have also made the move to online learning. What is going to happen to these schools who went ahead and took the initiative and switched to online? This will end up being a complicated mess because the Japanese government refused to act early, as they usually do. It isn't until they basically have no other choice do they finally make the hard decisions. But this ends up making things a lot messier for everyone else.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Oh, by "to stamp" I meant "to print", sorry.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@John B: it's a mess everywhere, it's not a matter of "early" or "after". Online teaching is really stressfull if it is supposed to be for TONS of kids. It's not so easy to replace ordinary classes with online teaching in public schools of any kind. Teachers are going crazy. It's not like private lessons or college lessons.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If schools did change to September due to the emergency deceleration many private schools would have no choice but to furlong teachers.

I wonder if the number of people on this site calling for an extension of the emergency deceleration would change?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Not gonna happen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Carpslidy, why would teachers be sent an eighth of a mile and where to? Perhaps you are confusing it with 10 chains? But people are “bound” to make that mistake :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Apart from that, I didn’t see any comment regarding the school teachers who rely on their jobs as teachers as a main source of income.

Teachers dont have a problem, the fulltime or even yearly hires are paid, and would be paid. Fully hired teachers here are government employees. No need to worry about them.

PT one's or hourly one's are a different story.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

online schools could make a huge difference to kids who are being bullied. Hopefully there's a trend to increase it overall.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

the Japan you knew yesterday will be different tomorrow. Japan is just following order from the west. even now Koike is using English to speak to people...

something very fishy is coming. be careful....

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

gashiToday  09:23 am JST

School start dates

Guatemala = Second Monday of January

South Africa = January 13

Australia = January 27

Kenya = January

Malaysia = Early January

Singapore = Beginning of January

Costa Rica = Early February

Honduras = Early February

New Zealand = Between February 1 – 5

Brazil = First week of February

Chile = Late February

There are other countries that begin later in the year:

Argentina = Beginning of March

South Korea = Beginning of March

Japan = April 1

India = June

Indonesia = Mid-July

Besides a few countries you mentioned here these are mostly developing or minors.

Japan is part of the G-7 and you should compare it with western Europe and North America.

With all the due respect for Guatemala or Costa Rica I think that Japan must follow Germany the UK and such countries.

Simply because they are economically the engine of the world.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Companies also hire at other times than April but their bulk of hiring is done then

Not even close! They all START work in April! The hiring process goes on throughout the previous year!

Businesses START their hiring process in April through June, most major corporations have a lengthily hiring process that includes a minimum of 2 to as many as 5 or 6 interviews!

The first step is the initial resume or "entry sheet" after that the actual interviews start, and there is NO WAY they all finish in April. It takes months for just about every major corporation to decide who to hire!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Needs to be done in order to standardise with Global Education timing ... but on the other hand, with Corona Virus, de-Globalisation is now in mind.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Also Japan has that system that kids born between 4/4-4/3 are the same year. That would make things a confusing mess.

My city is thinking about doing home lessons. Those who don't have a computer or tablet would be provided on until school resumes. This is where the money should be going instead of on masks that cover 25% of a double chin.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

thelessdeceivedToday  09:26 am JST

the Japan you knew yesterday will be different tomorrow. Japan is just following order from the west. even now Koike is using English to speak to people...

something very fishy is coming. be careful....

Cashless society soon, hardly any small businesses, zero privacy, one government to follow later.

exactly. refuse all to protect your Future

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Companies also hire at other times than April but their bulk of hiring is done then

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I don't think changing the academic calendar is the issue at the moment. Is there a reason why they haven't moved to online teaching properly?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This means that once Koshien for example is over, the third years get kicked out of the baseball clubs so they can then cram for entrance exams. Most other clubs are the same, with the odd exception, winter sports like skiing for example.

Well actually, apart from Baseball, some other major sports here in japan have their tournaments in winter. Soccer (Fuyu kokuritsu), Rugby (Hanazono) and Basketball (Winter cup - Boys and Girls) are three are major high school televised tournaments, held in December/January.

Seniors of schools which qualify in those sports have always had the problem of the Center test being immediately after their tournaments. If it changes, it will be the turn of baseball and other minor sports to feel the exam pinch.

In Japanese High Schools, soccer and basketball in my area at least, are considerably more popular than baseball, its fading.

As for the majority of regular club members in weak school teams, they can finish their clubs at new year under a new timetable.

Changing will create winners and losers across the board, from sports team to job recruiters. It will be nice to have the summer break, just that - a summer break, with a fresh year starting in autumn. Not have 7 -8 week break in lesson continuity.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It would align Japan's school calendar with much of the rest of the world. Germany, France, the UK and USA all have school year's starting around September. Germany starts in August but not that different. It would make it a lot easier for Japanese students to study abroad timing wise. Also, with a longer summer vacation it might decrease the concentration of summer travel since it would be spread out over a longer time. And... students from abroad would have it much easier too. I thinks it is a fantastic idea.

You need to get a job in the Japanese Parliament, you’re the only one that makes sense I could steer this country in the right direction when it comes to this virus and education. Spot on.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I think it's a good Idea, same as the U.S so kids can travel while others are off too.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It's important to note that as it stands, if they go ahead with the change, Japanese students will be 1 year older than their counterparts of the same grade in other countries.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Children have a right to education.

1 have a temperature check at entry.

2 have a smell check at entry.

3 enjoy learning and peer group experience.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The climate is much comfortable than September. Also most of Japanese believe that entrance ceremony should be the beginning of April in cherry blossoms as there are 4 seasons in Japan and spring means "begining" of those seasons. This may be a temporary solution against COVID-19.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

This plan assumes that the pandemic is over by then. Experts are already warning of a possible second wave in the autumn.

Second, the plan at the moment seems to up the the high school level. Universities have already started or will start teaching courses one for this semester. This makes sense, since we don't know when the crisis will be over. It is possible the second semester will also have to be taught online too, depending on how things pan out with the virus.

I think it is a good plan, and necessary, but needs to be set up and implemented along with a change in the university year and company hiring practices. This is a huge change and will require conaiderable

At the moment

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Follow international standards.

and

Japan is finally thinking of joining the vast majority of the rest of the world in respect to the start of the school year. Amazing!

Japan, April start Pisa Score 2019, 3rd in the World

USA ,Sep start Pisa score 2019, 40 th in the World

Question, which country needs to change?????

Is there any correlation between when a student starts the school year and academic performance?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

“Change the System not the Starting date” the concern here is not just the spread of Covid19 but mainly the “competitive entrance examinations” for Sr High schools and Universities. Schools can start any time if students don’t have to cram to pass those standardized exams. Students decide which high school to attend, based on their school grades and exams. The High school Students petitioned to change the Start of school to September so Exam dates will be pushed back.

Another question is whether the government  can change the structure in the remaining four months? The Governors should concentrate on preventing the spread of infection (like strict Policy in Tokyo,Inter-City prefecture Travel ban)   And improving the medical system.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Every child needs an iPad and internet.

Graduate hiring is done in April so the academic year must end before then.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

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