The number of high school dropouts rose slightly to 98,179 in fiscal 1995 but remained within the fluctuating range of the past decade, according to an Education Ministry report released Feb. 21. The dropout ratio from all public and private high schools was 2.1 percent, up 0.1 percentage point from the previous year.

The primary reason for students dropping out of school was given as the desire to change the course of their life, such as by finding a job or applying to other schools, accounting for 43 percent of the total, the report says. Other reasons include an inability to adjust to school life for 29 percent, and poor academic performances for 8 percent, it says.

About half of the students dropped out in their first year, suggesting junior high school teachers had given insufficient or inadequate advice on the choice of high schools. On the other hand, about 3,400 former dropouts re-entered high schools, 390 of them returning to the schools to which they had been enrolled.

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