Eleven of the nation’s 66 prefectures and major cities held makeup tests last spring for students who were unable to take their high school entrance exams due to illness, an education ministry survey showed Monday.
In another finding, the vast majority of the surveyed governments were found to have separated the sick from the healthy on the day of the original exam by testing them in separate rooms. This prompted the education ministry last autumn to seek alternatives, such as offering makeup exams on a different day.
Public high schools usually hold their entrance exams in the winter after the start of the new year. This often means exam season coincides with flu season.
The survey was conducted between May and June last year in 47 prefectures and 19 major cities with public high schools. Of them, 11 prefectures and cities held makeup tests for 385 students, including 124 who said they had influenza.
All of the surveyed governments except Wakayama and Tokushima prefectures made flu-stricken students take their exams in separate classrooms. Of the 4,693 students subjected to this step, at least 2,695 said they had the flu, the survey said.
Asked why they didn’t offer makeup tests, some of the other 55 governments surveyed blamed tight scheduling. They also said they offered to let sick students take the exams in separate rooms.
Two of the prefectures said they plan to offer makeup exams in the future and 36 said the idea is under consideration. The remaining 17 said they had no plans to do so.
On Oct. 14, the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry asked education boards around the country to “give special consideration” to students who are too sick to take the important exams on exam day.
As an option, the ministry suggested using the students’ report cards and extracurricular activities to screen them instead of forcing them to take the entrance exam.