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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 July 23 - 29  > Longstanding effort helps create more evening junior highs
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2014 July 23 - 29 TOP3 [WELFARE]

Longstanding effort helps create more evening junior highs

July 24, 2014
A longstanding movement has borne fruit, leading to an increase in the number of evening junior high schools for people who did not obtain compulsory education (6-15 years old) for various reasons.

The Headquarters for Revitalization of Education, an advisory body to the prime minister, points out in its proposal that evening junior high school classes are playing an important part in providing learning opportunities for those who are yet to finish compulsory courses. This panel incorporated promotion of more evening junior high schools into the proposal.

Two years after the end of WWII, the program for evening classes started in many junior high schools, but only 31 public schools in eight prefectures provide such classes today.

Parties concerned have doggedly called on the national and local governments for years to increase the number of public schools offering night classes.

Sawai Ruri of a Yokohama citizens’ organization to oppose night school consolidation said, “It is significant that the government council recognizes evening junior high schools as one form of provision of compulsory education.”

Suda Tomio, who has campaigned for the improvement of the night school system since 1954, said, “At this moment as well, some people are facing difficulty in daily living because of a lack of basic knowledge and learning. Part-time schools always consider the needs of educationally-disadvantaged people. I want this system to continue for future generations.”

Elementary school was the last stage of education for 82-year-old Hatsuyama Mitsuhiko. The war deprived him of a chance to study in school. He engaged in war-related volunteer work during his childhood. When his son enrolled in a junior high school, he himself decided to attend evening classes provided at the school. He was already 42 years old.

Hatsuyama said, “Before going to school, I had a lot of things that I wanted to forget. All I had were bitter memories. But, studying at school gave me a renewal of life,” adding that he wanted more people to know about evening junior high schools.
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