Japan Data

Two in Five Japanese Children Reluctant to Attend School During the Pandemic

Health Society

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues unabated, a survey has revealed that an increasing number of Japanese children do not want to go to school.

Japan’s National Center for Child Health and Development conducted a survey on how children are being affected by COVID-19. When asked if they ever felt like they did not want to attend school, nearly 40% of elementary, junior high, and high school students said “Yes.” Asked further about their state of mind, the most common response, with nearly 40%, was that they “feel in a bad mood when they think about COVID-19.”

The survey, held nationwide from mid- to late September 2021, received responses from 1,271 students aged from first grade elementary through to the third year at high school.

The participants were also asked how often they felt like not going to school, with 8% answering “always,” 6% saying “most of the time,” and 24% feeling that way “sometimes.” These three responses alone accounted for 38% overall, an increase of 7 points from 31% in the last survey held in the autumn of 2020.

Children were also asked about their state of mind over the previous four weeks. The most common response with 38% was that they “feel in a bad mood when thinking about COVID-19,” followed by 26% saying they “get angry quickly,” 26% who “can’t concentrate,” 20% who “wake in the night or can’t sleep,” and 15% who “often have bad dreams.” In the previous survey, 42% had said they “feel in a bad mood when thinking about COVID-19,” and while this time’s results indicate a slight improvement, the center notes that caution is still needed.

During the pandemic, there has been a shift across Japan to hold more lessons online. When the children were asked how they would feel if their lessons went online, the most popular response, with 32%, stated they would be “slightly happy.” Other common responses included “slightly unhappy” (24%), “very happy” (21%), “not happy at all” (15%), indicating a mostly positive attitude toward online lessons.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

children COVID-19