The education ministry will continue debating whether to let Korean, Chinese and other non-Japanese students at ethnic schools automatically qualify to take national university entrance exams as it has done for students from Western-style schools, education minister Atsuko Toyama said Friday.
Speaking at a news conference after a Cabinet meeting in the morning, Toyama said, “I think we should keep considering how university entrance examinations should be and not end the debate on the issue.”
She was referring to public criticism and protests from ethnic groups over the decision Thursday by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry to allow students at Western-style international schools in Japan to take national university exams without undergoing further tests.
It applies to graduates of 16 schools that have been certified by three Western education groups.
The groups are the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the Association of Christian Schools International of the United States and the European Council for International Schools of Britain.
Because the three organizations only certify schools where instruction is mainly in English, no Korean, Chinese or other ethnic school will be qualified under the new plan.
“In order to secure a certain level of education of the students, we thought it best to refer to internationally accredited rating organizations,” Toyama said.
At present, international schools are not accredited by the School Education Law. This forces graduates to take the “daiken” college admission test to demonstrate that their education meets national academic standards.
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