politics

Ruling bloc to urge gov't to retain April start for academic year

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If change to September doesn't happen now it never will.

29 ( +33 / -4 )

start of the academic year from April to September this year or next year, with the disadvantages of a hastened introduction outweighing the merits of the new system, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

I would counter the opposite, for some unfathnoble reason being out of step with contemporary countries is just a step too far to solve... It's a date that's all. But then day light saving is also a brain exploding idea, For the Gods sake can anyone make a sensible decision?

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Of course they will, the LDP stands to lose the most support from businesses which will be forced into changing their hiring processes and lets not talk about Japan's fiscal year starting in April too!

They just dont want to deal with the "problems" and want tradition to stay as it is!

9 ( +17 / -8 )

While I see the benefits of a switch to September, I think this is the right call. It really would be very disruptive to a lot of people if they rush it.

-10 ( +8 / -18 )

Tradition over progress as ever from the ruling parties.

The current situation provides a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to rethink and make improvements to the way we do things. It looks like the ruling parties are unsurprisingly going to ignore this chance in favour of sticking with the status quo.

16 ( +22 / -6 )

Perhaps some inconveniences in the short term will have benefits in the long term by switching to a September start. But yes, if it doesn't happen now, it isn't likely to happen. Perhaps a phased change is a better idea. Besides, its not really about starting THIS year in September, but ending it in May or June. Then, starting 2021 or 2022 in September.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

I want to know why it would cost so much, more than 28 billion dollars for the changeover. Also why should there be a shortage of nursery school teachers. I could see there being a shortage of elementary teachers, as the first batch of students would be higher.

Face it, this was always pie in the sky thinking, and Abe and his Nippon Kaigi, buddies were not going to allow anything like this to happen.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

disruptive to a lot of people if they rush it.

Disruptive is what Japan needs now to move forward in updating the education system (and government)

A lot of good changes have happened with the problems created by the COVID issues, especially thinking about how education should change.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

The start of the academic year varies from country to country: it stars in January in Singapore, February in Korea, April in India and Japan, June in Thailand, September in France and Germany. Can anyone please explain to me why Japan should move it to September.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

"We should avoid a hasty discussion (on the matter)," he said.

In other words, let’s have several more conferences, meetings and speeches in order to agree to disagree and disagree to agree-as long as the salary and perks keep building up...

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Disruptive is what Japan needs now to move forward in updating the education system (and government)

Disruptive seems great unless you are the disrupted. I am totally fine with bureaucrats or old politicians being disrupted for a good cause, but in this case there are a ton of regular people - parents and teachers - whose lives will be upended for this, and I’m not sure the case has been made that the benefits outweigh the costs on them.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Very sensible to keep April as the start. Not all countries start in September.

-9 ( +8 / -17 )

I’m really interested to know what financial burdens families would incur by my the start date. You either pay now or pay later but the total cost of education isn’t going to change by shifting dates a few months.

The vast majority of elementary school aged children in Japan are already two months behind in a school term that only last about four months. The next two months are only going to be lessons about social distancing and washing hands properly. There’s no way to make up that time in the summer (kids need time off anyway).

I think spending the next couple of months preparing for the September start would be much better spent than trying to salvage a spring term that is already lost.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Let's take an unannounced multiple choice survey of parents of school age children by Smartphone or email. It is unannounced because if it is announced, parents will talk to other parents before answering.

Choose only one answer for each question.

Why do schools start in April? a. I don't know. b. the weather and sports schedules are very important. c. because my parents did. d. because children want to see beautiful flowers.

Is it a good idea to change the start date to the first week in September to match other major countries? a. I don't know. b. YES c. NO

A former ALT in Japan and famous teacher with 50 years of experience signs off on the email as: "Keep growing, keep learning, keep changing." Japan needs to change in this very small, but significant, way.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

*by changing

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Can anyone explain this to me:

" ....... increase the psychological and financial burden on people."

What are they talking about? What kind of "increase"?

I just don't get it. There would be so many advantages.

But this is Japan: it's always been done this way, lets continue doing it this way.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Hands are full with the coronavirus.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The expression old habit die hard spring to mind but here it’s old habits don’t die, hanko!

16 ( +17 / -1 )

don't you all realize that it's more important tp start in april because...that's when the cherry blossoms bloom? smgdfh.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

I knew that the change to September was pure "in the moment" noise,like the "more testing" bleating, that raged on with gay abandon.Japanese don't like change,even finding fault with having daylight saving.Once things calmed down,of course,the idea would be dropped.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Well, Surprise, Surprise, Surprise.

Who would have thought that Japan wouldn't make any changes?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Can anyone explain this to me:

> " ....... increase the psychological and financial burden on people."

> What are they talking about? What kind of "increase"?

it is mainly from the six month gap that the change would create. You move the start date from April to September, for that first year it will create a six month gap in which kids won't be in school. So parents will have to scramble to obtain day care (already extremely hard to obtain here) which many will have to pay out of pocket for.

In the long term this would probably be a beneficial change, but in the short term it will wreak havoc on a lot of families, which is why they are balking at implementing it.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference, "(The government) will carefully weigh various options while closely watching developments surrounding the reopening of schools."]

Aah...yes. the famous " weighing options and considering " ....meaning ..we will do jack all as usual.

But then day light saving is also a brain exploding idea, For the Gods sake can anyone make a sensible decision?

Now now, lets not get carried away here....we need a few more decades to carefully study the daylight saving phenomena.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The Japanese Government is like the Samurai and stuck in their old traditional ways, while the rest of the world are becoming like Ninjas who are agile and adaptive to change.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

klausdorthToday  07:57 am JST

Can anyone explain this to me:

" ....... increase the psychological and financial burden on people."

An additional six months of school fees for private students. And rent for university students

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They could just move the start of university back to September, it doesn't have to be all the schools. I talked about this with my students and they said it would be good because they could work for a few months to get some money. They probably also want to delay the grind of working life for as long as possible

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The University of Tokyo wanted to make this change -- for their own calendar at least -- about a decade ago. They wanted to align with most of the northern hemisphere for sending students and professors abroad, receiving people from abroad, and not having as many conflicts with conferences and other events.

Of course businesses and the government were too wedded to April to even consider it.

I think the most ridiculous objection that I often hear is that the beginning of the year must coincide with cherry blossoms. Never mind the fact that sakura season is different depending on where in Japan you are (up north it's May!), or that global warming might change that for us whether we like it or not.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I think the most ridiculous objection that I often hear is that the beginning of the year must coincide with cherry blossoms. Never mind the fact that sakura season is different depending on where in Japan you are (up north it's May!), or that global warming might change that for us whether we like it or not.

This is by far the worst justification for it. It means that spring break ends just as cherry blossom season begins, so students and staff are too busy to enjoy it!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Just hurry up and change it, you idiots. Waiting any longer to decide will not benefit the students. Your choices have already impacted the population negatively.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Can't teach these old dogs new tricks.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

For the Gods sake can anyone make a sensible decision?

Not if it involves change.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@Meiyouwenti January/February is not an issue since that's just one semester away from September.

The issue is with April that is only a quarter away from either January or September. In lots of countries, university credits/grades/exams are based on semester. Having Japan start in April, means exchange student/professor must skip or repeat one quarter. That makes lots of potential exchangees consider other countries before Japan, which is bad for academic progress/conference in Japan.

Fiscal year is irrelevant.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Maybe we’ll need to third COVID-19 wave next spring to make the gov’t delay opening schools - again. Maybe a miracle will happen & school opening will get delayed because an act of God or something.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Well as schools are starting in June, with classes divided in half and 3 hour (period) days, with the backlog of study they have left from last school year, the first month or so they'll be playing catch-up. They could probably finish that up by mid-July then have summer vacation and start in September. Maybe the time would be a drag for ES and JHS 1st year students but Japan's cirriculum is pretty packed in and teachers are always rushing to get things done in March every year.

But there are 3 ways of doing things over here, the right(easy) way, the wrong(hard) way and the Japanese way.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is a radical proposal I dare make: Remove age limits on admission to university/higher education. Kids grow and learn at different pace. Smart, qualified schoolchildren would flogleap without concerning school calendar. School curricula better become further flexible and tailored, fit into different individual needs. When to start is not really a significant issue.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

As long as the 'blue bloods' are running the show here, there is little chance to none that progressive thinking will overcome traditional. But at least people are talking about it...and talking...and talking...and...

S

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It makes no difference, really, other than to overseas students coming to Japan from countries whose school calendars are out of synch with Japan's. The number of Japanese students studying overseas has been dropping for 20 years, and the vast majority of those who do go do so for only a month's time during holidays to avoid having to get student visas. They would do much better to allow students to attend university part-time in pursuit of degrees, and to ditch the center exam in February that dictates the content of jr and sr hi curricula.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No need to change. Kids have been studying online and getting feedback using Skype with their teachers when they need it. Little Kobayashi, Miyazaki has been doing this so I'm sure the mega cities have been even more creative.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

A real shame but the expected result. The reason of the burden on families sounds like BS. Japanese schools and their sports clubs almost rejoice in being a burden on families.

We are just left with the problem of how to handle kids with important entrance exams during the current school year. Their current schooling has been massively disrupted, and this disruption will depend on their town/school's policy, whether their parents kept them off (more likely in a town with Covid-19 cases) and whether their school was enable to introduce online classes. Given the love of tradition, I suspect all these students will be tested in exactly the same way as a normal school year.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Quelle surprise. The old men in charge dislike change, it threatens them.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

And, there you have it again. The old men in power are scared of change, and Japan shrinks backward instead of moving forward. This argument will come to the floor again in a few years as Japan continues to fall behind other nations in investment and university graduate skills. And what is the government saying about the people of the nation? Too stupid and easily confused, unable to adapt or cope, and unwilling to face a challenge. And yet, they expect you to "gaman" at every turn, pay more, lose more, and be stoic. Is anyone actually surprised? I'm not. They had a real chance here, but no surprise they're cowards as usual.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japan, the worst at adapting to new situations.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@Meiyouwenti

Well, one good reason for changing to September is that the entrance exams will no longer have to be held in the heart of winter when snow makes it difficult for students from outlying prefectures to attend.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

iradickleToday  10:41 am JST

But there are 3 ways of doing things over here, the right(easy) way, the wrong(hard) way and the Japanese way.

ha nail hit head.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I frankly don’t see any surprise about this,especially expats long timers should know best.

Japan was always a very insular place,and the very few changes they had were simply imposed after some defeat in war.

Logic in Japan is not as important as stubbornness and just keep things the old way.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The start of the academic year varies from country to country: it stars in January in Singapore, February in Korea, April in India and Japan, June in Thailand, September in France and Germany. Can anyone please explain to me why Japan should move it to September.

And August in the U.S.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Abe and his Nippon Kaigi, buddies were not going to allow anything like this to happen

What are you talking about? Abe was one of the loudest supporters.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Government ministries and agencies have projected that the proposed change would put an additional burden of 2.5 trillion yen ($23 billion) on households with school children, ranging from elementary to high school students."

Ha, additional burden. As opposed to what, the $600 I had to blow on my kid's "randoseru", or the $1000 on the uniforms for middle school? What about all those lists of very specific school supplies? And then I have to pay some monthly fee every month and it actually increases in winter time to accommodate the heating?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

1 advantage would be that children don't have to be subjected to torturous PE in the midday sun in summer time.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Whatever the period, it is fine but make sure that everybody is safe.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

As a student, I believe some measures have to be practiced to support those who do not have learning environment at home. Although I do assume a huge transfer of the academic year in Japan from April to September will cause confusion not only at schools but also businesses that seek for graduates to be new employees(They also will be required to change their annual schedules too), I am an advocate of starting the school year in September because it is a global standard. I especially was in favor of shifting the academic year by a month for five years and ultimately initiating in September since it won't cause much confusion among the students, teachers, and enterprises. However, I once saw in TV that people are prone to come up with only positive aspects of the issue when under some kind of crisis. Therefore, I was worried that the government would just introduce a drastic scheme and repel any misgivings and criticisms. Now that they came to this conclusion, there is a part of me that is sighing with relief. On the other hand, there are a myriad of students who were not able to study during the corona break including me. Schools should provide them with a sufficient support both for studying and their mental health.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I’m surprised nobody has picked up on the real reasoning behind keeping the start of the school year in April. It’s all about the summer vacation homework. In some schools, the summer vacation homework makes up a third of their yearly grade. If they start the school year after the summer break the teachers will have to actually teach the students an extra third of the syllabus in the classroom. It’s difficult imagine how Japanese students would react if they weren’t bogged down with summer vacation homework. I grew up in Australia where the new school year starts after the summer break. In nearly twenty years of teaching in Japanese high schools and colleges I couldn’t bring myself to giving students summer vacation homework. It defeats the purpose of a vacation. I always said, they should change it to Summer Self-Study. - They’ll also have to ditch those stupid vacation sports clubs. Between the homework and sports clubs most students get less than a full week of actual vacation.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Japantime I don't get why you're being downvoted to oblivion, considering Australia doesn't follow this system either. They start around end of January/early Feb until around mid December.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Schools are already in session this year. In many parts of Japan, they were already in session when this proposal got pushed forward. Are kids for one academic year supposed to be in school for sixteen or eighteen months? Or are we cancelling school for several months, after already starting, and parents have to pick up the tab for child care?

Using this pandemic and the fear and death it has brought as a convenient excuse to promote a proposal that these same people have advocated for years is, frankly, perverse. Passing emergency relief bills...fine. Using the emergency as an excuse to ride every hobby-horse bill that's been floating around the Diet for the past decade...no.

Changing the start of the school year, especially so suddenly, was always a nonsensical proposal. Outside of a few minor benefits from the perspective of a globalist agenda (more foreign students, increased immigration, easier labor exploitation by multinational corporations), changing the school year has no real merits and some very expensive downsides. Trying during this emergency to squeeze in this change that a few elites have wanted for a long time was a craven attempt. No surprise that it failed quickly as the emergency receded. It's hard to advocate school cancellations as a justification when half the country has been in school for the better part of a month already.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This is great news if you desire Japan to remain less international. Not so great if you don't. I have mixed feelings. I would like Japan to be more international on many fronts, but less so on just as many. If I could be assured the main lesson of internationalization would be to avoid American legal and social mistakes I would want the change!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They are high school students on March 20th then all of a sudden in two weeks they are college students. The frame of mind hasn’t changed nor their maturity.

Give them a summer to discovery themselves, explore career goals, travel, read, lose their innocence, and just time to grow.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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