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A government survey has found that 56.9% of students at universities and other schools in Japan are satisfied with online classes, far higher than the 20.6% who answered the opposite.

The education ministry survey, conducted online in March, covered 3,000 randomly sampled students at universities, junior colleges and vocational high schools, with 1,744 of them giving valid answers. The results were released on Tuesday.

In the survey, the first of its kind conducted by the ministry, students were asked about their lives under the coronavirus crisis.

Of the respondents, 13.8% said they were "satisfied" with online lessons they received in fiscal 2020, which ended in March, and 43.1% said they were "satisfied somewhat." The proportion of students who said they were "not satisfied" and "not very satisfied" with online classes came to 5.7% and 14.9%, respectively.

Nearly 60% of all respondents said that most of the lessons they received in fiscal 2020 were given online, according to the survey.

Asked about advantages of online education, some students said they can receive lessons at the place of their choice while others said they can study at their own pace.

Disadvantages included being unable to take lessons with friends and the lack of interaction between teachers and students, according to the survey. Some complained that they were overwhelmed with assignments.

The ministry has been asking universities and other schools to resume in-person lessons, on top of teaching students online.

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