Asahi newspaper ran an shocking article on the front page of the morning paper, 30th September, this year, that said the dropout rate of immigrant high school students who need education of Japanese communication skills exceed 9%, whose rate is 7 times more than the average of the Japanese public high school’s dropout rate.

This article was taken up from a part of the survey results contained in “The Survey On Admission Situation Of Foreign Students Who need Education Of Japanese Communication Skills ” which is carried out by Ministry of Education、Culture、Sports、Science and Technology in alternate years

According to Asahi newspaper, 9.61% of public high school students who have insufficient capability of communicating in Japanese and are recognized to receive Japanese communication education was dropped out in 2017. The dropout rate of public high school students all over Japan was 1.27 % , which indicates foreign students’ dropout rate was 7 times more than the domestic average high school students’ dropout rate.

Moreover, the college going rate of those students is less than 60% of its average. Those students who start working after dropping out get mainly irregular job, whose rate is 9 times more than the domestic average rate of employment of students getting full-time job who decide to work after graduation from the high school. An intellectual indicates the lack of supports to those students who don’t speak Japanese in its background.

Why do non-Japanese students who don’t speak Japanese can enter Japanese public high school?

In the first place, I need to talk about why non-Japanese students who have insufficient Japanese communication skills can enter Japanese public high school.

Admission system of Japanese public high school is different from the each prefectures but in 62 regions in total that contain specific municipalities having public high schools and 47 prefectures all over Japan, public high schools in 58 regions take some special steps like allowing applicants to bring a dictionary in the exam or arrange special admission posts (Framework of the measures that non-Japanese children who satisfy a certain level of requirement can apply for a special treatment to enter) to non-Japanese student rooted from other countries.

At the moment, the number of regions having public high schools which have no special steps for non-Japanese applicants to enter is only 4 out of your 62 regions in total.

This number comes from the survey named “the outline of admission of public high school to non-Japanese students regarding regional public high schools in 47 prefectures ” reported by volunteers who supports foreign students.

We could understand non-Japanese applicants receive some special treatments at the time of the high school exam in most of regions in Japan

In addition, depending on the region, there is also a case that some high schools that don’t apply “disqualification within quota” ( the admission system (rule) that every applicants will be forcibly disqualified regardless of their exam results because total applicants fall below the expected quota ), give admission to those applicants who don’t even understand Japanese at all if only they go in for exam.

On the other hand, only 6 regions supports Japanese communication curriculums after entering school and the number of regions that answered Japanese communication curriculums for those students can be prepared by the principal’s decision (not sure if such a curriculum is introduced in these schools) is only 25.

In short, although most of regions’ public high schools arrange the system of admission that non-Japanese can enter without knowing how to speak Japanese at all, the support for those non-Japanese students to teach Japanese communication after entering school is terribly insufficient.

Municipalities need more effective effort to build a comprehensive system to make non-Japanese students to learn Japanese.

Making new measure and policy to those non-Japanese students on how well municipalities all over Japan can improve drastically this contradictive situation after the next year is expected more and more nowadays.

So far, “the support of non-Japanese children ” has been handled by mostly volunteering groups that supports children’s “education” like learning support of Japanese.

Instead, a kind of efforts of “career education” and “independent support” that are in need for high school generation of non-Japanese students to make a living in Japan after graduation is disappointedly few.

At the moment, public educational institutions that accept non-Japanese student to let them adapt in Japanese society through above supports are very few because there are not sufficient experience in any public high schools to handle these problems.

In addition, a municipality where comparatively a lot of aliens live is rich in the number of alien’s support groups and these communities but on the other hand, a municipality where the percentage of aliens in all the residents is extremely low has problems of lack of support groups and volunteers or population aging of volunteers.

So depending on the municipality, there are sadly regional differences in quality and quantity of the supports for aliens and this matter has been indicated since long ago.

In terms of the new upcoming supports for non-Japanese high school students from the next year, the possibility of influence of this regional differences to the supports can be fully predictable and expansion of support differences between the regions from now on can not be denied.

At the same time generation scope of non-Japanese children and youth who are subject to the supports need to broaden, municipalities are required to improve this non-Japanese children’s support system with more device and consideration by associating with volunteering support groups for mainly Japanese high school students or inviting Japanese language education experts.

Outside of non-Japanese student support improvement in public schools

While municipalities welcome steady improvement of non-Japanese student support system, there are children who resist going to school because of getting bullied and hardly understanding Japanese in school, and graduates from junior high school in their home country, who have come to Japan at the age of more than 15 and need to take high school entrance exam for themselves.

Unless the Japanese government needs to be in hurry to take counter-measures to such non-Japanese children who is outside the framework of non-Japanese students support, their potential of being bilingual is going to be ruined, which seriously cause a bad damage to not only non-Japanese children but also Japanese society itself in the end

Japan takes the helm to acceptance of aliens and steps forward on the way of an immigrant nation. It is very important and necessary for the Japanese government to arrange the social system to grow non-Japanese children healthily and this is an urgent mission for whole Japanese society that influences the future of non-Japanese children

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