School bullying cases hit record high in Japan

The Japan Times

The number of reported cases of bullying at elementary, junior high and senior high schools rose to a record 224,540 in academic year 2015, up 36,468 cases from the previous year, an education ministry survey showed Thursday. The figure for elementary schools was up by 28,456 to a record 151,190 in the 12 months through March, while that for junior high schools stood at 59,422, up 6,451, and that for senior high schools at 12,654, up 1,250. The survey also looked at truancy, with the number of elementary school students who stopped attending classes for at least 30 days increasing by 1,717 to a record 27,581. The number of senior high school students who skipped class, meanwhile, dropped by 3,565 to 49,591. Among the types of bullying, ridiculing and slandering accounted for the most at 63.5 percent.


Japan's schools embracing tablets but inadequate support and security remain concerns

The Japan Times

OSAKA – In a teaching tool reboot, tablet computers are increasingly appearing in classrooms. However, some teachers find they have little support when things go wrong and the devices open students to being hacked. This school year, the Osaka Municipal Government introduced tablets at all public elementary and junior high schools. The Japanese school year runs through March. The tablets perform a variety of roles.


Ministry earmarks subsidies totaling ¥20 million to set up translation systems for foreign students at schools

The Japan Times

The education ministry plans to set up a new subsidy system for prefectures and large cities that offer detailed support to foreign students attending public elementary and junior high schools and their parents by using multilingual translation systems. The subsidies will be offered to prefectural governments, ordinance-designated major cities and other core cities that use tablet computers with multilingual speech translation functions in teaching Japanese to students from abroad at school and providing school guidance to their parents. The ministry has set aside ¥20 million for the subsidy system, which is designed to cover one-third of related costs, under the government's fiscal 2019 budget, with 100 language support programs likely to become eligible for the financial aid, informed sources said. The launch of the new subsidy system comes in line with the government's policy of allowing more foreign workers to come here. The number of foreign students in Japan needing Japanese language education totaled 43,947 in fiscal 2016, up 70 percent from 26,281 in fiscal 2006.


Ministry earmarks subsidies totaling ¥20 million to set up translation systems for foreign students at schools

The Japan Times

The education ministry plans to set up a new subsidy system for prefectures and large cities that offer detailed support to foreign students attending public elementary and junior high schools and their parents through the use of multilingual translation systems. The subsidies will be offered to prefectural governments, ordinance-designated major cities and other core cities that use tablet computers with multilingual speech translation functions when teaching Japanese to students from abroad at school and providing school guidance to their parents. The ministry has set aside ¥20 million for the subsidy system, which is designed to cover one-third of related costs, under the government's fiscal 2019 budget. According to sources, 100 language support programs are likely to become eligible for the financial aid. The launch of the new subsidy system comes in line with the government's policy of allowing more foreign workers to enter the country.


Academic achievement tests canceled in quake-hit southwest Japan

The Japan Times

The education ministry conducted academic achievement tests at all elementary and junior high schools across the nation Tuesday except in Kumamoto Prefecture and some other earthquake-affected areas in Kyushu. The ministry decided to cancel the annual tests at elementary and junior high schools in Kumamoto and at seven junior high schools in four municipalities in Miyazaki Prefecture after it was unable to deliver test booklets due to damage from the strong earthquakes that have been rocking the region since last week. The tests are aimed at measuring the academic skills of sixth-graders in elementary school and third-year students in junior high. Test booklets were delivered to some 2.15 million students at a total of nearly 30,000 schools. Almost all national and other public schools and about half of private schools participate in the tests.