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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 November 4 - 10  > DYLJ calls for gov’t action to reduce students’ burden of paying tuition fees during corona crisis
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2020 November 4 - 10 TOP3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

DYLJ calls for gov’t action to reduce students’ burden of paying tuition fees during corona crisis

November 6, 2020

The Democratic Youth League of Japan (DYLJ) on November 5 petitioned the Education Ministry to take necessary measures to relieve students from the burden of paying tuition fees due to financial difficulties caused by the ongoing pandemic.

This action reflected students’ concerns which the DYLJ heard in carrying out its food assistance project at 103 locations in 32 prefectures to support students facing financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 situation. Those students voiced concerns such as these: “I lost my part-time job due to the pandemic. I receive no monetary support from my parents. So, it’s not unusual for me to go a couple of days without food,” and “My application for tuition fee exemption was rejected by my university. This makes it difficult for me to continue with my study.”

In the petitioning, DYLJ Chair Koyama Minoru reported on these concerns and demanded that the Education Ministry work to reduce students’ hardship by such means as lowering tuition fees by half, implementing measures to grant students exemption and deferred payment of tuition for the second half of 2020, and maintaining the emergency cash benefit program for students and relaxing the requirements to apply the benefit.

Koyama said, “I believe that the general public may allow the government to provide sufficient support to students because they are the future,” and expressed his hope for the ministry to alleviate students’ hardship. In response, an Education Ministry official, however, stopped short of accepting the DYLJ demands.

Later on the same day, the DYLJ also submitted to the Labor and Health Ministry a written request based on its findings from an interview survey of young workers on the impacts of the pandemic. In the interview, one worker said that he/she was fired under the pretext of his/her company’ difficulty in paying wages.

In the written request, the DYLJ demanded a measure to prevent the unfair dismissal of regular workers and unilateral termination of contracts of non-regular workers and the continuation of exceptional measures in the ministry’s financial support programs for smaller businesses and their workers. It also called for an expansion of PCR testing capacity.

DYLJ Chair Koyama said that the ministry should ease the requirements to apply for the financial support program for SME workers so that more young workers will be covered.

Japanese Communist Party parliamentarians Hatano Kimie (Lower House) and Kurabayashi Akiko (Upper House) took part in the DYLJ’s petitioning activity.

Past related articles:
> DYLJ provides food assistance to students struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic [September 30, 2020]
> Opposition-drafted bill to halve students’ burden of tuition fees submitted [May 12, 2020]

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