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8,183 foreign kids in Japan seen not attending school

Ministry of Education Headquarters. (Shutterstock)
Ministry of Education Headquarters. (Shutterstock)
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22 Apr 2023 11:04:12 GMT9
22 Apr 2023 11:04:12 GMT9

TOKYO: The number of foreign children of compulsory education age who were registered as residents in Japan but were not or may not have been in education totaled 8,183, an education ministry survey for fiscal 2022 showed Saturday.

Such children accounted for 6.0 pct of the total 136,923 foreign children eligible for elementary and junior high school education, down by 1,863, or 18.5 pct, from the previous survey conducted in fiscal 2021.

The ministry believes that foreign children not in school decreased as regional education boards made stepped-up efforts to create lists of names of foreign children and their school enrollment statuses and worked on providing parents with school enrolment information.

The ministry began the survey in fiscal 2019. The latest survey, which was the third of its kind, covered education boards in 1,741 municipalities across the country.

As of May 2022, the number of foreign children registered in Japan as residents eligible for education at elementary or junior high schools stood at 96,214 and 40,709, respectively, with the combined total rising by 3,613 from a year earlier.

Of them, 778 children were found to be out of education.

School attendance statuses were not figured out for 6,675 children, and school attendance surveys were not carried out by education boards for 730 children. The ministry said these children may not have been in education.

Meanwhile, 125,468 foreign children were studying at elementary, junior high or international schools. A total of 3,272 foreign children had moved, left Japan or had plans to move.

The International Covenants on Human Rights, ratified by Japan, stipulate that foreign children have the right to receive education.

JIJI Press

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