Education | Oct 04

Record 300,000 students in Japan do not attend school

TOKYO, Oct 04 (News On Japan) - The number of truants at elementary and junior high schools in Japan has reached a new high of almost 300,000 students, and reported bullying cases in all schools at about 690,000 during the 2022 academic year.

The results of a survey conducted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) indicate that 299,048 elementary and junior high school students across the country were in non-attendance in the 2022 academic year, representing an increase of 54,108 students (22.1%) from the previous year.

This marks the 10th consecutive year of increase and continues to set new highs.

MEXT attributes this escalation to factors such as the prolonged impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, changes in living environments, disrupted daily routines, and various restrictions in school life, all of which may have affected students' motivation to attend school.

The number of recognized bullying cases in elementary, junior high, and high schools reached 681,948, which is an increase of 66,597 cases (10.8%) from the previous year, setting a new record high. This increase is believed to be partly due to the resumption of extracurricular activities and school events, leading to increased interactions among students amid the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A record 923 cases were classified as "serious incidents of bullying," an increase of 217 cases (30.7%) from the previous year. Out of the serious bullying cases (923 cases), 357 cases (38.7%) were initially not recognized as bullying. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) believes that this indicates ongoing challenges in schools' recognition of bullying incidents.

Additionally, the number of students who reported suicide across all schools increased by 43 people compared to the previous year, reaching a serious situation that is close to the record high of 415 people in the 2020 academic year, with a total of 411 students.

For the first time, a survey on "suicide due to corporal punishment and inappropriate instruction by educators," commonly known as "instructional deaths," was conducted, resulting in one case in elementary school and one case in high school.


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