Government to help school libraries subscribe to more newspapers

JIJI

The education and internal affairs ministries are planning to financially help libraries at public schools across the nation subscribe to newspapers.

The ministries will urge the schools to take four different newspapers to help their students stay informed, now that the voting age has been lowered to 18, which includes many students still in high school.

The government will double the allocation covering all municipalities to around ¥3 billion over the next five fiscal years to help finance schools’ newspaper subscriptions. The support will cover elementary and junior high schools as well as high schools.

According to a survey by the education ministry, public high schools subscribed to an average of 2.8 newspapers as of the end of fiscal 2015.

Since fiscal 2012, the government has been providing about ¥1.5 billion to municipalities a year to help elementary and junior high schools take at least one newspaper. High schools were not covered by the aid.

Under the new plan, the ministries will call on high schools to take four newspapers, while junior high schools will be encouraged to subscribe to two and elementary schools to one.