Japan Governors to Call for Study on Sept. School Enrollment


Tokyo, April 29 (Jiji Press)--The National Governors' Association decided Wednesday to ask the Japanese government to consider introducing a school year starting in September, instead of April, in the wake of the novel coronavirus crisis.

The association of prefectural governors in Japan made the decision in an emergency videoconference of its headquarters dealing with the epidemic, in response to concerns that gaps in education opportunities among local communities, as well as among students, could be created if the government's state of emergency declaration over the virus crisis is extended beyond its currently scheduled end on May 6 and ongoing emergency school closures are kept in place for a longer period as a result.

The association also agreed to call on the state to study the possibility of utilizing Saturdays and summer holidays to make up for delays in school education as many schools in Japan remain shut due to the pandemic although the country's new school year started this month.

Kamon Iizumi, governor of the western prefecture of Tokushima and head of the association, told reporters after the conference that participating governors shared the view that introducing the September enrollment system is "a major challenge for Japan."

"I believe that the governors association needs to face the issue on this occasion," Iizumi said. As to when the system should be introduced, Iizumi said only the association hopes to propose that the government embark on full-fledged discussions on the matter.

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Jiji Press