Obstacles Loom as Japan Debates Sept. School Year

Politics

Tokyo, May 7 (Jiji Press)--As Japan debates shifting the start of the school year from April to September in response to prolonged school closures over the coronavirus epidemic, it is finding that there are many obstacles to such a change, including effects on students' employment opportunities.

The government began considering the measure as a remedy to the educational disparity among students made to study from home during the epidemic.

"It affects society as a whole, and there needs to be adjustments with every sector," education minister Koichi Hagiuda said Friday as he suggested that the government will continue to consider the proposal. "It can be a major option if we can all share the recognition that it is an issue concerning the whole society."

Many have voiced support for the September school year plan. High school students have launched an online petition calling for the change, which had gathered over 23,000 signatures by Saturday. The petition was met with comments such as, "This is the only way to bridge the education gap."

The National Governors' Association has also drawn up an emergency proposal urging a "broad, national discussion" on the matter.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press