Arama They Didn't

11:04 am - 11/13/2012

Only 78.9% of foreign junior high grads in Japan go on to high school



The Japanese language barrier may be holding foreign graduates of Japanese public junior high schools from going on to high school, suggests a new survey showing just 78.9 percent of such students move on to the next level of education -- 20 points below the national average.

The survey, conducted by the "Gaikokujin shuju toshi kaigi" (Council of municipalities with large foreign populations), covered 1,010 foreign graduates of public junior highs this past spring in the council's 29 member municipalities including Iida, Nagano Prefecture, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Ota, Gunma Prefecture, and Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture.

All the participating municipalities have large concentrations of foreign residents, including the many South Americans of Japanese descent working in Japan's auto plants. The results are set for official release at a council meeting in Tokyo on Nov. 12.

For the purposes of the study, which the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology says is the first of its kind to cover multiple municipalities, survey subjects were categorized as foreign if their mother tongue was not Japanese, even if they had Japanese citizenship. Results were gathered by querying junior high homeroom teachers about where their students went to high school.

The results showed that 52.8 percent of foreign graduates went to a regular full-day high school, 22 percent went to high school part-time, 2.6 percent went on to take correspondence courses, and 1.5 percent embarked on "other" education, including intensive Japanese language courses.

When broken down by Japanese language ability, the survey found that 92.1 percent of foreign third-year students who could "understand regular class material" went on to high school or vocational school, as compared to the 67.5 percent of students who could not understand classroom vocabulary doing the same. Only 58.1 percent of students who could not make regular conversation in Japanese went to high school or vocational school.

The figures form a stark contrast to the 98.3 percent of junior-high students expected to graduate next spring -- numbering some 1.2 million -- set to progress to the next level of education. Regional figures for foreign students also apparently vary depending on the availability of part-time high school classes and special foreign student admissions systems.

"Since the study didn't cover foreign children who did not go to junior high school in the first place, I suspect the rate is actually 20 points lower," former Rikkyo University professor and multiculturalism expert Kosei Sakuma told the Mainichi. "Considering how academic performance-oriented Japan is, the subjects of this study -- most of whom are South American and Chinese -- are in the process of becoming an underclass in this society," he concluded.

The education ministry, meanwhile, stated that it is "now developing methods to improve the Japanese ability of foreign students, and once developed we believe these will prove of great help to classroom teachers."


SOURCE: Mainichi Newspaper
lolufailhard 13th-Nov-2012 03:59 am (UTC)
that's sad to hear. :/
perhaps it just has to do with how and to what extent the teachers/administration attempt to communicate with students. I've seen high-schools that actually had chinese and some korean transfer students and they did just a well as the others. Perhaps that had to do with the fact it was a private school, there were multiple resources for the students, and that the schools were in the US, but still... I know it's possible for them to do better. As a person who has been learning it myself for a few years now, I definitely feel like it also has a lot to do with difficult it is to truly learn and master japanese lol.
placetohide 13th-Nov-2012 09:54 am (UTC)
A lot of it actually has to do with problems with *parents*, not the students!

For example, at the junior high school I teach in now, one of the foreign girls has no interest in going to school due to not understanding enough and not really wanting to bother catching up at this point. She often skips classes or doesn't come to school entirely. The school has a hell of a time talking to her parents about this because only one of them speaks any Japanese, and he's always at work. Not having a guardian the school can communicate with makes answering simple questions like, "Where is *student* today? Is she coming to school?" difficult to answer, and it's hard for them to convey to the parents the seriousness of the situation.

I've also encountered foreign students whose parents seem seriously anti-Japanese, despite putting their kids in public Japanese schools, and they will honestly do everything they can to fight against the school. I had one boy whose parents punished him when he spoke too much Japanese at home by making him stay home for a day and not letting him go to school. Another set of parents would periodically refuse to let their daughter come to school because they were concerned about too much Japanese influence.
pandaranda 13th-Nov-2012 10:48 am (UTC)
Sorry but the last part of your comment is ridiculous, why are they even living in Japan if they don't want their kids being influenced by Japan?! @____@ It seems super counterintuitive to me...

Edited at 2012-11-13 10:50 am (UTC)
senshicalico 13th-Nov-2012 12:25 pm (UTC)
They're probably blue collar (factory) immigrants, such as from Brazil or Southeast Asia. I lived in a heavy area like that and most of them only immigrated to Japan because of an extensive family network and prospects of a (factory) job.

Of course I can't speak for placetohide, but that's my experience.
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