Oct 4, 2014

Poorer students dropping out

More and more students are being forced to drop out of universities, colleges and vocational schools because they cannot afford tuition. Can Japan's institutions afford not to provide greater financial assistance to stop this waste of talent?

Oct 2, 2014

Weaker case for the law schools

Reform of the nation's system for training legal professionals — introduced a decade ago to draw people from more diverse backgrounds into the legal professional community — is under scrutiny as the ratio of applicants passing the national bar exam falls to a record ...

Sep 13, 2014

Test scores can't tell all about kids

The education ministry's decision to make public, prefecture by prefecture, the average scores of annual nationwide achievement tests carried out in April for junior high and elementary school students is problematic.

Japan's universities can't win

Aug 24, 2014

Japan's universities can't win

by Takamitsu Sawa

In view of the disparity in professors' pay between Japanese and American universities, the notion of elevating Japanese universities' global rankings simply by bringing in outstanding "foreign talent" as instructors and researchers is a castle in the sky.

Aug 16, 2014

Student absenteeism on the rise

Absenteeism for compulsory schools in Japan rose in fiscal 2013 for the first time in six years. Some of the students absent for 30 days or more feel permanently behind and give up going to class.

Aug 3, 2014

Japan has a word to add about teaching math

by Walt Gardner

Before critics conclude that Americans suffer from an incurable case of innumeracy, they might want to ask if the long-standing poor performance of U.S. students in international math test competition, compared with Japanese students, is the result of the way the subject is taught ...

Aug 2, 2014

More students opt for fifth year

According to a recent survey, many of the 103,000 Japanese students who opted for a fifth year of university study last spring did so to continue hunting for a job.

Jul 7, 2014

High test scores, low expectations

by Walt Gardner

Young people in Japan, like their counterparts in the U.S., know that high scores on tests have little to do with their job prospects. So why do a higher percentage of American students still report being hopeful about their prospects for a good life?

Jun 21, 2014

Struggling with gender identity

The education ministry's first-ever survey on gender identity disorder reports a minimum of 606 children across the country who deserve, and greatly need, attention and care.