Junior high schools in Japan rush to adapt entrance exams amid pandemic

Japan Times -- Jan 30
With the coronavirus continuing to spread in Japan, junior high schools are rushing to tweak their entrance examinations to ensure test-takers’ safety.

According to major preparatory schools and other sources, most junior high schools in Tokyo and neighboring Kanagawa Prefecture, where entrance exams will take place in February, have decided to require test-takers to wear face masks and have their body temperatures checked. Some schools will shorten exam times so that test-takers do not have to eat lunch between tests. This will also allow them to come to the school at different times on the day of the entrance exams.

To avoid overcrowding, many schools will not allow accompanying parents to wait inside the school while their children are taking the exams. People from preparatory schools will not be allowed to gather, either. They usually offer encouragement to students at the entrances of the junior high schools where the exams take place.

Jissen Gakuen Junior High School in Tokyo’s Nakano Ward will reduce the number of seats in classrooms in order to ensure there is a proper distance between test-takers. Each desk will be equipped with a three-sided plastic shield to avoid transmissions of the virus. In addition, these classrooms will be disinfected and sealed off until the day of the tests.

“We’re giving highest priority to safety and security,” a school official said.

- Japan Times