Current Issues and Answers in Education

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However, ICT utilization for education in Japan lags behind that of foreign countries. For example,. At present, approximately 50 percent of public school facilities were built more than 20 years ago. As well as making functional improvements to such deteriorated school facilities, qualitative improvements are needed, for instance to incorporate barrier-free designs and use surplus classrooms effectively. Moreover, since Japan is said to be the most earthquake-prone country in the world, the earthquake resistance of school facilities is a life-threatening issue of vital importance.

As well as being places where schoolchildren and others spend half their day, public school facilities also serve as makeshift emergency disaster evacuation centers, safeguarding the local community, and as such have an important function. Under these conditions, the demands on local public authorities in respect of dealing with the aging of facilities, earthquake resistance, and so forth have increased enormously.

As such, the government has begun to support the improvement of facilities by appropriating a supplementary budget in addition to the initial budget. However, we must continue to safeguard educational opportunities through initiatives that are suited to the times.


Concerning the burden of education expenditure at the compulsory education stage, while tuition fees and textbooks are free, a variety of other expenses are incurred when attending school, for example school supplies, school meals, and commuting. As mentioned in Chapter 1, the number of schoolchildren who receive study assistance at the compulsory education stage is increasing. Concerning study assistance to those eligible to receive welfare assistance, the government subsidizes half the expense of municipalities. As for assistance to those who are partly eligible to receive welfare assistance, since the government subsidy was abolished from when tax revenue sources were transferred to local governments and local financial measures were put in place, each municipality now determines and implements the acceptance criteria.

Still, it has been pointed out that because of the financial difficulties of municipalities, a disparity in the payment of study assistance for those who are partly eligible to receive welfare assistance has arisen, and as such the improvement of study assistance is a pressing issue. Next, let us take a look at the situation at the senior high school stage. Therefore, from , free tuition fees at public senior high schools and a senior high school enrollment support fund system for pupils at private senior high schools were established.

In terms of future issues, the burden other than tuition fees, such as entrance fees and textbook fees, cannot be disregarded, and initiatives in respect of these are now required. The proportion of pupils who fail to pay tuition fees in prefectural senior high schools is 0. In private senior high schools, the percentage of pupils who failed to pay tuition fees is 0. Outline of survey results Compared with end FY , at end FY the percentage of pupils who failed to pay tuition fees in the total number of pupils increased by 0. The status of equal educational opportunities is not limited to the alleviation of the burden on household finances examined in detail in Chapter 1.

For example, the declining birthrate has resulted in a reduction in the number of elementary and junior high schools in recent years. This means that measures are needed to safeguard the educational opportunities of schoolchildren who live in remote rural areas and to prevent substantial disparities in educational opportunities as a result of district of residence, for example by improving means of transportation such as school bus and school boat.

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Meanwhile, the number of foreign schoolchildren requiring Japanese language tuition is increasing each year. As such, the acceptance of foreign schoolchildren is becoming increasingly widespread across the country, and improvements to that acceptance mechanism are an important issue. The safeguarding of appropriate educational opportunities for foreign schoolchildren requiring Japanese language tuition is important for the healthy development of foreign schoolchildren and their adjustment to Japanese society, as well as being connected to the nurturing of an awareness of the world in Japanese children who study at the same school, and the enhancement of educational activity in school itself.

As such, improvements to the environment are urgently needed. To enable universities to maintain diversity in terms of their academic pursuits and continue providing society with outstanding human resources, the basic funds that support these activities need to be secured to a sufficient degree. On the other hand, overall spending by universities on educational and research activities has continued to increase, and this has been funded by other research grants, external funds, larger donations, etc.

To enable universities to continue with stable educational and research activities, the consolidation of operational subsidies to national university corporations is indispensable to fund the minimum necessary spending of national universities for daily educational and research activities. With regard to the National University Facilities Improvement Expenses Subsidy, urgent facility development has been funded by additional appropriations, while the initial budget continues to decrease.

Note: Profits achieved by obtaining competitive funding and external funds: the total of profits from grants, profits from consigned research, profits from donations, profits related to research and other self-earned revenue. Note: Figures in [ ] indicate targets for development, and those in indicate the actual development work performed as a percentage of the target. Furthermore, subsidies provided to private universities have also continued to decline. The ordinary subsidies provided to private universities by the national government decreased by around 9. In terms of the subsidies provided by the national government to private universities, the Diet has decided that efforts shall be made to halve the amount as quickly as possible.

Under the circumstances, public funding provided to institutions of higher learning by the Japanese national government has remained at 0. In the intellectually based society of the future, the role played by universities is certain to increase in importance. It is important to consolidate the necessary basic funds, while at the same time providing measures to enhance the quality of universities. In forming a fair and active society, it is indispensable to enable all enthusiastic and capable individuals to enroll at institutions of higher education.

For this purpose, the following issues need to be resolved, and the implementation of further measures is required. Reference: Singapore: Both rates are published by each government. One of the possible causes of the internationally low enrollment ratios at universities and junior colleges is the fact that low numbers of working people enroll at these institutions. Looking at the ratio of students aged 25 or over, the ratio in Japan is only 1.

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This is the lowest among OECD member countries, indicating that the majority of freshmen enrolling at institutions of higher education are from the year-old population. Stat Extracts ; however, the figure for Japan is based on the number of working people who enroll at universities, according to the Basic School Survey and surveys by MEXT.

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With the onset of a knowledge based society, it is necessary to promote innovation and enhance industrial productivity by cultivating expert human resources with university education backgrounds in the liberal arts, and by enhancing the overall human capital of society. However, in some regions the university enrollment ratio is significantly lower than the national average, and only an extremely low number of working people are accepted at universities. Opportunities for university learning need to be enhanced, not just for young people but for all people in Japan, including working people.

In addition, the environment needs to be developed to maintain and enhance the quality of education so that the needs of society can be met.

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As can be seen, universities in provincial areas offer rare learning opportunities for students who find it difficult to enroll at universities in urban areas. They also function as suppliers of human resources to regional communities, and as places of lifelong learning for working and other people.

At the same time, universities also serve as the intellectual infrastructure of the region, or the base for generating new industry by utilizing the outcomes of their educational and research activities, at a time when knowledge is becoming the basic element for bolstering social and economic development. Examples are also found in Japan, as discussed below, and the role of universities as a driving force for growth has increased in importance.

As can be seen, they have contributed toward the revitalization of regional communities. To enable universities to perform both these functions and educational functions effectively, they need to fulfill the role of the intellectual platform of the respective regions while promoting strategic collaboration among them. Note 1: The economic ripple effect has been calculated based on the effects of educational and research activities costs for purchasing textbooks, research materials and others , the effects of spending by faculties, staff, and students, the effects of other activities spending by visitors , and the effects related to the facilities at each university Note 2: The above diagram shows an example of a medium-scale university in Chugoku Region with around 11, students and 4, executives, faculties and staff.

Examples of economic revitalization measures through industry-academia-government collaboration. Kyushu University, Kyushu Institute of Technology, and other universities located in Fukuoka Prefecture have contributed significantly toward the realization of the scheme. Specifically, groups of universities in the region have vigorously advanced the development of system LSI, to be used in automobiles in which electronic technologies have been utilized more and more in recent years, and in robots, for which growth is foreseen. Outstanding research results have been announced in rapid succession, which could lead to product and industry development.

At the same time, new products and ventures have been launched through joint research and development with enterprises in the region as a result of collaboration with the Fukuoka Industry Science Technology Foundation. In addition, many faculties participated in the establishment and operation of Fukuoka System LSI College, which the Fukuoka Prefecture government opened to develop technical experts who work with numerous companies.

These efforts have contributed greatly toward the development of system LSI-related human resources in the region. Attempts are also being made to enhance tie-ups between various regions by promoting international joint research and development with research institutes in Asia and other regions. International joint research and exchanges of the most up-to-date information are being conducted with numerous invited researchers from other countries. Through these measures, the formation of a global research base is being targeted.

As a consequence of these efforts, Fukuoka has gained global recognition as a system LSI development base, and accordingly the number of human resources in the area with research expertise has also increased. In addition, the number of system LSI-related companies located in Fukuoka Prefecture has grown each year. As society is becoming more and more interested in food safety and security today, the three universities that have undertaken independent research into agriculture in Hokkaido are collaborating to integrate the academic areas related to food safety and security, while at the same time conducting field work in agricultural villages, taking into consideration the practical activities being pursued in the region.

These measures are intended to develop high-level experts and provide guidance for improving farm operations, and to promote regional agriculture through the development of one-of-a-kind local food products. The number of graduate students in Japan has almost tripled in the past 20 years. As a result, educational courses that suit the diverse needs of society need to be formulated in an even more intensive way.

In terms of Doctoral courses, the number of people holding Doctoral degrees in the natural sciences has continued to increase in major countries.

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Many responded. We all need to take some responsibility. NRA needs to give, video game makers need to give, parents need to give. The direction needs to change. Being an educator and trying to cope with all of these tragedies has been a really difficult concept to grasp lately. Parkland is a place I call home and hit me really hard. You get into a state of panic and have to make a judgment call in the moment.

I have noticed that students nowadays can be increasingly disrespectful. I try to do my best to teach them values and respect and it is a constant battle to explain a smart choice versus a not so smart choice. Something needs to change in the school system or it is just going to get worse. We need more educators. I am seeing a pattern of younger teachers just like myself that are already done and checked out. There is something that must be said about teamwork and working together at home and at school. It will not work otherwise.

We are seeing the outcome of that each and every day. There is only so much I can do in the classroom that once they leave my room for the day I am unaware of what is going on. I have to just take it day by day and stay strong. As bad as that sounds — it is true. But you never know when something like this will happen to you, so staying positive and thankful every day helps me cope a little better. It is never going to end, is it? I have to just be prepared about the future and what is to come.

It is a scary world out there and I worry about what is going to come next. But again, day by day…. I honestly do not have an answer for this- I believe there needs to be a lot done to make this end.

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It is very hard to even watch the news or go on social media right now just because there is so much controversy going on and as a educator it is hard to speak up for what I believe.

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