More parents are putting extra emphasis on their children’s academic abilities and thus feel a growing need to send them to cram schools, a survey revealed Saturday.

It indicated that 44.9 percent of parents of elementary school pupils and 50.9 percent of those of junior high school students expressed concern over their children’s academic performances unless they study at cram schools. The figures were up 5.7 and 6.7 percentage points, respectively, from the previous survey four years ago.

The survey was conducted by an educational institution affiliated with Benesse Corp. last September in the Tokyo metropolitan area. About 6,100 of the 9,000 parents to whom questionnaires were mailed responded.

Among all respondents, 55.5 percent expect their children to progress to a four-year college.

Less than half the respondents said they would be satisfied with their children’s academic abilities if they are merely able to lead ordinary lives in the future, it showed. The institution said the result indicates that more parents than ever before care deeply about their children’s academic performances.

In comparison, the institute released data from a rural area of Fukushima Prefecture and the city of Takamatsu. According to the data, 49.8 percent of the Fukushima parents and 33.3 percent of those in Takamatsu want their children to go to four-year colleges.

An official at the institute said, “Introduction of the five-day study week is said to have brought about a decline in academic performance and increased parents’ anxiety over their children’s education.”

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