Japanese Ministry of Education Seeks Local Government Cooperation in Investigation into Foreign Student Attendance


In this archive photo from November 2017, the logo of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology is seen during a press conference. (Mainichi)

TOKYO – The Ministry of Education is seeking the cooperation of the prefectural boards of education, covering all 1,741 municipal authorities in Japan, to survey the attendance of foreign children in schools in Japan.

The decision by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology follows a recent survey showing that it is not clear whether more than 16,000 foreign children of compulsory school age are living in Japan are currently in school.

The deadline for responses is June 14, with the goal of collating the results by the end of the year.

The “Foreign Children’s School Attendance Survey”, based on school data from May 1, 2019, aims to identify how many foreign children are enrolled in primary and secondary schools as well as international and ethnic schools, and find out how many are not. going to school and specifying a number for students whose attendance is unknown.

It will also examine how the process of allocating schools for foreign children is handled. The survey questions include sections asking whether the municipal government has information on enrollment in multiple languages ​​or has confirmed the new student’s intention to enroll in school when they move in.

In the case of Japanese nationals, the parent or guardian takes responsibility for ensuring that their child goes to school. But foreign residents are not included in this requirement, leading to cases of students not enrolled or whose attendance is unknown.

In the fall of 2018, the Mainichi Shimbun conducted its own survey of 100 municipal authorities with large populations of foreign children. It revealed that the schooling status of some 16,000 children, or 20% of the approximately 77,500 foreign children aged 6 to 14 in the survey, was unknown. In addition, of the 100 municipalities surveyed, 38 had not confirmed attendance figures in their jurisdictions.

(Japanese original by Haruna Okuyama, City News Service)


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