Japan Defers Use of Private-Sector English Tests for Univ. Admissions

Politics Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Nov. 1 (Jiji Press)--Japanese education minister Koichi Hagiuda announced Friday a postponement of the introduction of private-sector English tests for a planned new unified university entrance examination system, amid concerns about inequalities in test-taking opportunities.

The government will conduct a thorough review on the adoption of private-sector English tests, aiming to start the use of the tests in fiscal 2024, Hagiuda told a press conference. The new unified examination system is slated to start in fiscal 2020.

The postponement came after the minister himself fueled the inequality debate last month by saying on television that students hoping to enter universities would hopefully make efforts based on their backgrounds.

There are complaints from prospective test-takers that opportunities to take private-sector English tests could differ according to their economic backgrounds, as well as where they live.

In September, the National Association of Upper Secondary School Principals made a request to delay the introduction of private-sector English tests for a review.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press