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Almost 20,000 foreign children in Japan not attending school

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Around a third of municipalities, or 649, had not sent notices regarding elementary or junior high school enrollment to households with eligible foreign children.

Even among local governments that delivered notices, many only sent documents in Japanese, the survey found.

The above might very well be reasons for non attendance.

There is very little help for foreigners at public schools in Japan.

Japan has a long way to go before it can be considered ‘international’

9 ( +17 / -8 )

In the US, nearly its about 2.5.

They call it 'homeschooling."

6 ( +10 / -4 )

woops

2.5 million. 2.5 million kids don't go to school, because their parents are religious.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

And the demographics are? Begin printing documentation in foreign languages so that the parents or guardians can understand the enrollment process. Language support is going to be important for the students so that should be a part of the program. If the government doesn't actively educate these children, they are wasting an opportunity for these young minds to become an active and contributing part of society.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

However, unlike Japanese children, education for them is not compulsory.

Once again, compulsory education misunderstood by the people who write the articles here!

Compulsory education in Japan; the children are not held liable, nor do they have to attend school, Japanese children either for that matter, it's the PARENTS who are liable for sending their children to school!

The difference is huge and I for one would appreciate it the writers here would get that part correct, instead of passing around false information!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

By checking the school registers of each board of education, the ministry found 1,000 of the children were not attending school, while the statuses of another 8,768 were unconfirmed.

It was unable to verify the circumstances of a further 9,886 children due to reasons including their absence from school registers despite listed under the resident registration system.

"Unconfirmed" and "Not attending" are totally different! This is more like the people who took the survey didnt take the time to get off their lazy arses and actually check!

Quite a common occurrence here!

Even among local governments that delivered notices, many only sent documents in Japanese, the survey found.

Well we do live in Japan, and the people who come to live here realize that this is a Japanese language country, and that official documents are all in Japanese.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I'm sure these kids are being "educated", they're just falling between the cracks when it comes to verifying it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Can attend Japanese schools free of charge? That’s a joke, right? An elementary school bag costs upwards of ¥40,000. The junior high school uniforms with sports gear will cost around ¥100,000. Where is the ‘free of charge’?

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Right, because every school around the world outside of Japan has printed material in Japanese and Japanese translators so that foreign students can better assimilate into society.

Rolls eyes.

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

In accounting for the lack of attendance, the ministry said some children and guardians may not have sufficient command of the Japanese language and local government

No the Ministry is not correct. Many immigrant children adapt quickly to learning in the local language in other countries. Students will want to go to school if the school provides a welcoming atmosphere students.

Here is a 6 min animation that beautifully illustrates the situation for immigrant students very well. https://www.nfb.ca/film/from_far_away/

I require the Ministry to take a look at this 6 min animation.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@Oldman_13 - Again with the naivity! Have you ever been out if Japan? School is taught in three languages in Australia. Japanese is a main subject in both elementary and high school.

Furthermore, if you really want to compare. Most Japanese do intensive English study for ten years through junior/senior high and university for a total of around 2,000 hours of tuition. However, they done learn a flipping thing! Only 7% of Japanese have an intermediate conversational skill in English. Only 12% have a conversational skill in any second language. These statistics are the lowest in the developed world. Even South Korea has better statistics of second language study. This is Japan, right?

0 ( +7 / -7 )

I'm from the bible belt in the US, very small town... even we had integration courses for children who didn't speak English. They first spent a year or two learning in their native language (we had 2 Spanish speaking teachers and one Japanese speaking teacher - there were several Japanese auto plants nearby) alongside ESL languages and then once they became proficient enough in English they were integrated into regular classes. If my shitty, BFN, rust-belt, poor as anything hometown can do it, so can just about anywhere in Japan.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Could it also be that undocumented parents of these children are denied the right to gainful employment. Children of such foreigners are not eligible most essential financial assistant. There should be no cause for alarm if such children are not in school when authorities stick to their gun. All they think about is the “law” as if humans were made for laws and not the other way round. This is the result when laws become an enslavement tool

insteaf of a liberating.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Most of the foreigners feel Japanese schools is not a save place to enroll their children.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I only hope it's not concerned with poverty.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is a ridiculous article / study!! Full stop.

First, let's consider the scope of the children covered.

Dual citizens with Japanese and another nationality were excluded.

So, any child that had one Japanese parent was not included!! Which means that any child with a native Japanese speaking parent was not part of this study, which would logically be a group that would be pre-dispositioned to attend a Japanese school.

Alrighty then.

And then there is this:

The first such survey conducted by the education ministry in May and June found that 19,654, or 15.8 percent, of eligible foreign children are not attending Japanese elementary or junior high schools, although some may be going to international schools.

So, they know these children are not attending Japanese school, they know that neither parent is Japanese.....

But they have no idea whether these children might be attending an international school.... which would be logical if both parents are non-Japanese.

And, to underscore this point.....

By prefecture, Tokyo accounted for the highest number of foreign children not attending school at 7,898, followed by Kanagawa at 2,288, Aichi at 1,846, Chiba at 1,467 and Osaka at 1,457.

Ya don't say?! Seems to me that, maybe, just maybe, these children are attending international schools in the large metro areas.

Which would be logical.... if both parents are non-Japanese!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What I am getting from this article is that more needs to be looked into properly. Look into the international schools to see if it covers the remainder. If not, it is time for the family to get a visit to help them navigate their children's education. Or, to make note that the children are not in Japan so that parents cannot collect the child raising money that is given to parents unless there is a good reason to continue to do so (on exchange / family emergency / temporary leave). It seems that there is no need for anyone to fall through the cracks if things are investigated properly.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As schools are closing due to lack of children being born, you would think the government would put more effort into enrolling these 20,000 children.

It would definitely encourage internationalism and help build better futures for some of these kids.

Perhaps develop a JSL department in elementary schools as well. Such programs are all over the world for many schools, why is Japan always last and making such a big deal out of this.

Wake up Japan, why do you think so many countries are surpassing us in so many different things in 2019? No evolving at all.....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I find it hard to believe that the number would be so high in such a strictly managed surveillance society where people even watch me put out my trash. Secondly, I have never seen any signs during the day of children not being in school even having lived in various parts of Japan over 15 years.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Can attend Japanese schools free of charge? That’s a joke, right? An elementary school bag costs upwards of ¥40,000. The junior high school uniforms with sports gear will cost around ¥100,000. Where is the ‘free of charge’?

One, they can be bought for much cheaper, and two, they are NOT mandatory. Plenty of kids do not purchase them now.

People only buy them because it's the start of the integration into the collective training!

In the long run, uniforms are a hell of a lot cheaper than buying clothes. You try and keep a teenager in school clothes.

Oh, try and send a child to a private school, I know, I sent THREE to private schools, from ES through HS, then come and talk about "free". Education IS free! The rest is the proverbial "plus @"

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So dual citizens are considered foreign?

A long way to go Japan ... keep doing what you do so you alienate all people who aren’t your precious pure bloods.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

How many Japanese, who ARE required to attend, do not? "Hikkikomori" was a term coined here, after all. Just curious.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Right, because every school around the world outside of Japan has printed material in Japanese and Japanese translators so that foreign students can better assimilate into society.

and where outside Japan is the Japanese language used or even needed!? last I checked English was the international language

4 ( +4 / -0 )

How many Japanese, who ARE required to attend, do not? "Hikkikomori" was a term coined here, after all. Just curious.

Again, children are not required to attend! (How many times do I have to repeat this? Not just here but on other threads that you have responded on as well! I also included links to support that as well!)

Schools through the BOE's and counselors "attend" to these kids, and there are also many that attend "free" school's as well, which covers for their school attendance!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think the time has come for Japan to acknowledge that foreigners exist and to provide them with assistance in acclimating to life in Japan. It may hurt in the long run if they don't start now.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Zero help for foreign parents when navigating things like school enrollment and religious types wanting to 'home school' (an oxymoron) their kids are the main issues.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

oldman_13Today  08:24 am JST

Right, because every school around the world outside of Japan has printed material in Japanese and Japanese translators so that foreign students can better assimilate into society.

Rolls eyes.

I can see how little you know about abroad.

In the European Union we deliver official papers in 25 different languages if requested.

People should get better informations before posting wrong comments and rolling eyes.

And yes,Japan discriminatory way of consider the foreign children have a long way to go before becoming international.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Probably much of it because of the lack of Japanese language abilities both children and their parents. The unknown are the missing children actually attending an international school?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I work in a school district with quite a large number of foreign children with low levels of Japanese, and parents who have even lower, if any, Japanese ability. I'm 100% certain that if the district didn't employ a translator for the school, at least half of those children would not be coming to school. The translator is constantly writing school notices in different languages and ringing families, on top of being an interpreter for parent teacher meetings and going to class with the children to help them with math and Japanese.

And even with the translator's help, the staff at the school talk to and about the foreign parents like they're dirt on their indoor shoes. The foreign parents might not understand Japanese but they don't need to to understand the contempt that some of the teachers have for them, for the apparent crime of being not-Japanese. The only reason these kids aren't attending the local international school is because their parents are blue collar workers who can't afford the fees.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Documents in Japanese only ???. Global & International mind, what are the Japanese thinking ???. This is the 21st century. Why do they wonder, 20,000 foreigners not going to school ???.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

However, unlike Japanese children, education for them is not compulsory.

Why ?

Ok, it is based on the thinking that most foreigners on average leave Japan after 3 years, so making it compulsory is a waste of resources.

Pension calculation for those who paid into the fund but are leaving japan is based on this magical 3 years.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

HOLD ON!!!!... Did they just admit that CHILD LABOR exists in JAPAN ????

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

...adding that some children may be working...

Employment regulation and monitoring may be somewhat lacking, though the "maybe" bit may actually on the other-hand be more informed and perhaps a blind eye is being turned towards such matters in certain cases... but at the expense of a basic Japanese Education ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Ministry of Education has known of the issue for decades... Once in a while, they do a survey, put it on a shelf next to the file of lack of kindergartens. Forget it for years. Rinse. repeat.

They call it 'homeschooling."

In Japan, homeschooling (distance learning, etc) and the private "schools" done by associations or cults are considered as attending and I know for sure the Government has the exact stats for nationals and foreigners.

although some may be going to international schools.

Not that many. They know that their numbers are for kids getting no education at all.

Ok, it is based on the thinking that most foreigners thaton average leave Japan after 3 years,

The history is they declared compulsory school was not concerning foreign nationals in the aftermath of the war. At that time, that allowed great savings to not rebuild public schools in the slums where the many Chinese/Korean residents were living. The communities managed to get their own schools (Chosen-gakko, etc). As the slum disappeared, progressively, the public schools accepted the Zainichi and the difference with nationals disappeared. That never was an issue about the few expats as many have their own international schools (in European languages and recently in Asian ones) and the few others were welcomed as exotic guests in the Japanese system.

The weird law remained unquestioned till the 1990's when the Peruvian and Brazilian migrants had kids.

In the European Union we deliver official papers in 25 different languages if requested.

LOL. In France, you can download officials paper in French and google-translate in 600 languages if you wish. That's not the point. Even if nobody filled the form and it's the middle of the year, the public schools accept all kids aged 2 to 16 ( it's even becoming a law that social workers need to find some school for all the 16 to 25 yr olds not employed). They can be national, foreign resident, illegal migrant. That's not being generous : that avoids having too many juvenile gangs in the streets. Also, we've seen since the Roman invasion that the migrants tended to stay so we had better teach our dialect to the little ones. The quality of education is another debate. it's still better than the situation in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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