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Record 54% of Japanese students not eager to study due to COVID: survey

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In society that just want to make those kids just another uniform robots, of course they'll get easily bored.

4 ( +22 / -18 )

Kaoru Sato, a professor of the sociology of education and social research at the university, attributed the drop in motivation to reduced interaction among students at schools.

"COVID-19 has limited their interaction and the leisure activities they do together…" Sato said.

Brilliant. Such scintillatingly perceptive insight. Easy to see why this person is a Todai professor.

Wouldn’t it be more interesting and useful to speculate and fathom why 80% of those students were already unmotivated before COVID-19?

[sigh]

TT

2 ( +16 / -14 )

That the pandemic and the measures taken to limit its impact had negative consequences on the motivation of the children is not surprising at all, this is part of the cost that has to be considered. The problem is that as mentioned in the previous comment this only represent a limited increase over years where COVID was not an excuse.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

It's been a rough couple of years. My school has had school closure a few times. Clubs have been cancelled at times as well. Even mid-terms have been cancelled. It's just hard overall to envision a society like it once was, where everyone could mingle without worry about catching an illness. I also don't usually like to compare countries, but I do occasionally remind my students that given the hardships, they have many things to be thankful for here in Japan.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

“Record 54% of Japanese students not eager to study,” might be more apt.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

Good job, adults!

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

Yes, endless monotonous lectures, meaningless rules and non stop test schedules aren’t factors at all.

As usual Japan, try to push the blame on a scapegoat.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

Without social interaction, school is drudgery, it’s a normal reaction to be uninspired under such conditions!

Eat in silence?

More “science” at work, just like masking, unsocial distancing, etc.

There is no proof any if that works, none. Yet inflict your own paranoia on kids!

Stop it, stop terrorizing kids,

with all these unnecessary, and unproven restrictions and regulations!

2 ( +14 / -12 )

It boggles the mind, that grown adults would come here and nitpick the results of a survey that anyone that has been stuck at home for the past 2 years knows.

Anyone that had to spend months studying at home as a child due to injury or illness can tell you that without the interaction with friends and teachers the parents had to sit on top of then every minute or they just stopped doing their school work.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

Reading this article, I was reminded of data coming out of China - home of large recurring town/city/regional Covid lockdowns - where they show that homes, where parents were quarantined with children, that up to a quarter of quarantined parents exhibited symptoms of trauma-related mental health disorders. I can well imagine that these children will also indicate an understandable lack of motivation to study.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

What kids here need is less study and more fun!

14 ( +20 / -6 )

How about they do the same but with "motivation to work".

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Forcing masks and paranoia on children is unprecedented, especially as the SARS-CoV-19 viruses, especially new varieties have little or no effect on them.

we should invest in the future.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

I'd be eager to not study too if I had to go to a local Japanese school. The rote learning, spoon-feeding, test driven method is outdated and boring. Doesn't motivate or encourage students at all. The schools and classrooms themselves don't look at all inviting with its washed out monochrome colors and lack of ventilation. It's not just Covid; this has been an issue plaguing Japan for ages. Covid simply exacerbated it.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Hard to believe any of this. Students have continued to interact with one another during the whole pandemic. Not to mention that in May 2020 they got a long vacation (finally). And I seriously doubt a 20 minutes eating in silence can take out the "fun" of an all day school.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

kurisupisuToday  09:04 am JST

What kids here need is less study and more fun!

Why so Japanese young people are as illiterate as the Western youth are becoming!?

I recieved a request from a university graduate from the USA asking for an Apprentice position.

This person graduated in art conservation from a reputable university.

The email including his CV was full of spelling mistakes and the ", texting" language short cuts such as "2" instead of too and "u" instead of you.

I am severely dyslexic but even I wouldn't send something that poorly done out.

And I wouldn't say anything if it was a one off, but sadly it isn't because I am a master in a Japanese traditional craft and speak English and French fluently, I receive requests for apprenticeship regularly and this sort of sad poorly written stuff is regular these days, 20 or 30 years ago it would have been rare.

-3 ( +13 / -16 )

From my experience, a significant number of teachers in Japan are stifled by bureaucratic processes and as a consequence, churn out robots rather than stimulating their students' imagination, initiative and creativeness.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

They were not really eager to study when pre-Covid. Naturally, the motivation is lower when they're being limited to do social activities, which is the basic essence why it's called a "school".

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

The literacy rate in Japan might be high but I wonder if Japanese children are expressing their ideas properly.

Certainly the students at primary school here are encouraged and allowed to, but when they hit secondary education then everything changes and they are stifled and subdued.

Covid has been a situation where yet more rules and burdens have been placed on the young.

There is a distinct lack of socialisation and ability to read and speak due to peer interaction.

I am not saying there is a substitute for study but there is a need for children to be able to interact and express their feelings.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Some of the things kids here look forward to and remember the most from their school years are being cut back or stopped all together.

We're out here in a rural prefecture which has had relatively very low numbers of Vid cases, but their schools still canceled their sixth grade and ninth grade school excursions. But when I went to large cities like Kyoto, Osaka and Tokyo, I still saw other schools on their excursions but with more caution and oversight than usual.

Some local boards of educations have been too stringent and not really weighed the consequences with the realities of the infection rates.

In addition, yearly farewell school picnics at the beach for 6th graders; welcoming mountain hikes for 7th graders; summer lake canoeing; sports day festivals being limited to two parents; sports tournaments that take place outdoors like tennis and baseball; and endless club activities; ALL CANCELED in our relatively few infected prefecture.

Kids don't have much to look forward to at school aside from studying and tests.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

I heard japanese students are not even allowed to ask "what page are we on?" "what does this mean" during class as its viewed as class disruption, is that true?

One thing I know for sure: english classes look more like kanji and japanese grammar lessons, no wonder so many students find english classes "boring"

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Interesting and valid comparisons @zichi 10am but there are significant differences between comparable Japan & the U.K. and the geographic immensity & demographic diversity of U.S.

To be fair, could you, at least, clarify those U.S. stats by region ie. East Coast, West Coast, Midwest and South?

*- @zichi 10am: “The Japanese literacy rate is high, 99% on par with the UK rate compared with the American rate of 88%.” -*

1 ( +8 / -7 )

The literacy rate in Japan might be high but I wonder if Japanese children are expressing their ideas properly.

Exactly!  And this drags on during their entire adulthood.

Have you ever been to those draining morning "chourei" meeting sessions where the random staff appointed to inform something to the group of 15-30 people starts talking in a tone you can barely listen even if you are in front of the guy? Or when you're at some random location with 10 other people to solve a simple problem (move boxes to another floor, whatever) and after a while you have to literally take the reins because everyone is terrified of moving, giving an opinion, absolutely no one wants to "stand out". A foreigner dragging a group of 10 teeth-sucking japanese to life, every single time, how ridiculous is that? Everyone is unmotivated and corona is not the problem.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Those kids obviously need more weekends at juku!

1 ( +8 / -7 )

What kids here need is less study and more fun!

"Less study and more fun", doesn't build a country or your future. Coming from a third world country, I would have done anything for the level of education kids receive here... We had so few opportunities, constant threat of violent street crime, and definitely no studying in Starbucks all-day. Teens here do go out with their friends often, save public transport, have amazing school trips, club activities, nice clothes, and live in a beautiful country. But education needs to be "more fun"? lol. People really just want to have everything these days. From what I've heard from kids here is that they do have a lot of fun, even though they study hard. I'm sure many take it for granted though. But find me a country where any large percentage of children love to study anywhere. No such place.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

As a uni lecturer and owner of private English schools I’ve noticed a positive change in students due to the pandemic.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Instead of focusing the 5% increase, they should address why 45% are not interested in the first place.

You know, children see school as time away from family or playground. Maybe that's why.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

From my experience, a significant number of teachers in Japan are stifled by bureaucratic processes and as a consequence, churn out robots rather than stimulating their students' imagination, initiative and creativeness.

Yes and no. But in every educational institution it's hard to balance freedoms and rules. Or maybe the teachers you witnessed hate their job? As for the teacher that love their work, they are far more involved than any teacher I'd witnessed while going to school in my country. Our lessons were painfully boring and kids were considered below adults. Here I see teachers getting to know their students favorite bands or games, so they chat and get on their level. Teacher here even try to be funny and entertaining. Some of my Japanese students have even said that they see "having humor" as a requirement in a teacher. And as for lesson planning, they do have a lot of room for creativity but they can choose communal lesson plans too. Not to mention teachers here are highly educated. In my country, teachers were always those that failed at their main career. That kills creativity far quicker that bureaucracy.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Let kids enjoy being kids.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Was being respectful & diplomatic @zichi10am so, could You, at least, provide the current link to your source of that information ?

*- @zichi 11:43am: [smh: “To be fair, could you, at least, clarify those U.S. stats by region ie. East Coast, West Coast, Midwest and South?] - “I do not know what they are …” -*

Hard to believe that as you’ve stated previously your extended family currently resides in “New England” and you own property in Florida so, that would encompass the “East Coast” of the U.S. Surely, you know those stats since you started making comparisons.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

"....taking the fun out of school..."

In a country where school can often mean 6 days a week, long commutes, early mornings and late nights, hard club practice and then extra study at cram schools.....there is very little fun to be had at the best of times!! LLF!

I couldn't wait to get home from school and get out with my friends playing football, going up the park, trying to pick up girls.....when exactly do Japanese kids get to be kids?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Way to blame the pandemic for a cultural problem with a very long history in Japan, what is next? blaming COVID for low wages, xenophobia, bullying, etc?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Can you really blame them? CoVid is our #1 problem right now and it has disrupted everything. Get vaxxed!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

"COVID-19 has limited their interaction and the leisure activities they do together, while (restrictions such as) eating silently during lunch have taken the fun out of school life," Sato said.

This, by far, must be one of the most insane thought and condition ever manufactured by us!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"Less study and more fun", doesn't build a country or your future.

Finland and other Scandinavian countries may disagree with you...

Coming from a third world country, I would have done anything for the level of education kids receive here... We had so few opportunities, constant threat of violent street crime, and definitely no studying in Starbucks all-day.

That's like my Grandfather saying "You don't know how good you've got it!! When I was young I had to work a 12 hour shift down the coal mine before trekking 2 hours, barefoot in the snow just to get to school!!" etc etc etc. You are viewing it from a totally different economic starting point.....as my Grandfather did. When he was young, the country was poorer and conditions were worse....the same as your 3rd world country. Japan is not a 3rd world country.

Teens here do go out with their friends often, save public transport, have amazing school trips, club activities, nice clothes, and live in a beautiful country.

Ignorance is bliss eh? Japanese teens know less and seem much less curious about the world than their contemporaries in other countries. The outlook for them is mostly going to be their office from 8 to 8 everyday with short 3 day holidays twice a year. Sucks to be them. The world is a place to be enjoyed and explored.

But education needs to be "more fun"? lol.

Education does need to be more fun.....the more fun it is, the easier and quicker students will learn. Education needs to evolve, it can't just stick to the old rigid techniques.

People really just want to have everything these days. From what I've heard from kids here is that they do have a lot of fun, even though they study hard.

Having fun is very subjective.....if they know of nothing else then of course "fun" will be found in places.....but should "less bad" be an acceptable state to live your life? I'd rather shoot for the stars and fail than make the best of a bad situation.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

They're not there to have fun, they're there to learn.

That being said... forcing uncomfortable face masks on them for eight hours a day, making them submit morning temperature checks/reprimanding them when they inevitably forget to, making them stand an arm's length apart, and limiting their lunch time conversations will just demoralize them.

Let's make this the year we end the error and toss out said rules for good.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Forcing this hyper paranoia onto kids is sad and needs to stop. They are the least effected group from a healthy standpoint and to continue subjecting them to the covid theatre should be abolished. My kids are so nervous if they sneeze because they don't want to have online school again. They barely get to be a kid outside of the regular school assignments and those years cant be replaced. That's right I said "years".

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

zichiToday  10:00 am JST

The Japanese literacy rate is high, 99% on par with the UK rate compared with the American rate of 88%.

Had you properly read or had the minimum comprehension you would have understood what I meant about "illiterate"!

In Japan most young adults can use correct Japanese, the same age western youth today cannot or do not.

This was why I have the examples of U = you and 2 = too. Previously used only in phone texting now found in business email, CV, etc.. because they no longer know what is correct and what isn't and yes it applies to UK as well as the USA Canada, Australia, NZ....

Japanese schools focus on actually teaching more than western schools and oddly enough I know few westerners from English speaking countries that speak fondly about elementary, jr and SR high as my Japanese friends do, all still meet up with fromer school mates but I don't know many from the USA, Canada UK , etc... That still see they school mates 10,20, 30 even 40 years after graduating. (Unless a small town and they never left the area.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

My son does an indoor sport and it was shut down for about six months. During this time, all offices, restaurants, bars, shops, etc. in my town were open as normal. The local government simply decided to shut all gymnesia and sports halls, and all events, because "Covid". Maybe it thought it was setting a good example, but it was not one followed by anyone else. Anyway, having no club left my son as a relative "loser" due to Covid restrictions. This chimes with Speed's description given above. Take the fun stuff away from schools and most of what you are left with is rote learning.

My son hates studying, but likes to do that sport at the club at school. His mates are in a different year group, and club is where he gets to meet them. He doesn't like going to school otherwise.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Seems you just should “*Go For It!”* @MatthewHopkins 7:49am and make those much-needed changes in the classroom over the weekend while everyone else is out of your way.

It would be a happy surprise for the students and to many of the tired-out staff come Monday morning!

*- @MatthewHopkins 7:49am: ’From my perspective, so definitely not through the eyes and culture of a native, when I wolk into the primary schools in my area I feel they are drab, slightly battered and always cluttered with stuff that would be better used baking potatoes in the playground.*

- “I want to walk into a classroom, take out the junk, rip of the dusty posters on the wall and give it a fresh brightly coloured lick of paint and make it into an environment that I would could be comfortable to study in. I would do it for free as long as the paint and brushes were provided. I could easily get a coat of paint on a room in a day and a second one the next.” -

Seems you’d also have the support of many here! - Looking forward to your followup story. Good Luck!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

If I was a high school student in Japan today I would feel the same. Japanese study their ass off in High school to secure a university spot which for most will be their only time of freedom and fun until they hit retirement. With that taken away I would feel unmotivated as well.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Nice to read your opinions here again @Skyeaten (It’s been a while?)

@Skyeaten 11:50am: "Less study and more fun", doesn't build a country or your future. Coming from a third world country, I would have done anything for the level of education kids receive here... We had so few opportunities, constant threat of violent street crime, and definitely no studying in Starbucks all-day. Teens here do go out with their friends often, save public transport, have amazing school trips, club activities, nice clothes, and live in a beautiful country. But education needs to be "more fun"? lol. People really just want to have everything these days. From what I've heard from kids here is that they do have a lot of fun, even though they study hard. I'm sure many take it for granted though. But find me a country where any large percentage of children love to study anywhere. No such place.” -

1 ( +5 / -4 )

What kids here need is less study and more fun!

Ideally, studying is fun.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Can you really blame them? CoVid is our #1 problem right now and it has disrupted everything. Get vaxxed!

Getting vaxxed does not stop the transmission of covid, so will not stop covid. It's just a temporary immune system boost lasting upto 6 months. The #1 problem is the reaction to covid and the disruption said reaction has caused to our lives for the last two years.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Much respect that you are ALWAYS cordial & very diplomatic MatthewHopkins 2:03pm and still hold true to traditions & protocol, ie: [o.t]. - Yes, in the modern, high-paced digital era, that emailed CV/resume in response to open position is expected, along with all the others. But followed up, in your fashion, with a postmarked & mailed copy on a fine paper COULD make all the difference in getting the right person’s attention.

But the use of “U = you and 2 = too…” is just plain laziness and should be rejected at every level.

Do you really want that “Generation know-nothing” dealing with your clients or worse,

‘teaching’(?) along side you in schools?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Why not? If they already know everything or let’s say at least more than 80% for ‘good’ and more than 95% for ‘very good’, then this is ok. But of course they have to prove that level before canceling their studies, for example in a few very strict and challenging tests checking their knowledge.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Good thing is, for the most part, they were still able to go to school.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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