According to data from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, around 53,869 high school students dropped out during the 2011 academic year. While some of them are willing and eager to continue their education somewhere else, school transfer rules are preventing them from doing so.
A teacher from an elementary school in the Kusatsushi area in Shiga Prefecture has admitted to installing a camera in the girls' bathroom after the device was discovered by one of the students. He admitted to being the one to put it there, but only because he was just "testing out" the new camera he bought.
The suicide of a junior high school student in Yugawara, Kanagawa Prefecture in April is believed to have been caused by bullying. Three junior-high schoolmates confessed that they held down and hit the boy, who was of the same grade. When asked for their reason, the three boys claimed that they bullied the victim for fun. All three were sent to a child consultation center after the incident.
Bullying among Japan's students has become an issue in recent times that is resulting in widespread emotional trauma among youth. Tokyo’s Shinagawa Ward has decided to set up websites where students from its fifteen public junior high schools can report and inquire anonymously. According to officials, names of bullying victims and those who bully may be reported without the concern or fear of the reporter being found out.
Used randoseru, the backpacks used by most elementary students, have been collected for donation to schoolchildren in Afghanistan. Japan has been donating backpacks since 2004. To commemorate the almost decade-long charity, photographer Takeshi Uchibori released a photo book titled Randoseru wa Umi o Koete ("School Backpacks Across the Ocean"), which features Afghan children who received the randoseru donations.
Making kindergarten education free for 5-year old children has been agreed by the government on Thursday. It was decided, together with the ruling party officials, that the program will be executed on the 2014 fiscal year. The proposal will only cover a family’s third or subsequent child given that the eldest sibling is still on his third or lower grade in primary school. The current condition is due to limited budgets. However, the government claims that waiving fees for all children from 3 to 5 years old is the ultimate goal. Also, no income requirement will be needed for the new subsidy program.
A petition has been signed demanding East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) to designate train cars exclusive for women in order to protect female students from being groped. Four all-girls schools in Yokohama – Doremus School, Ferris Girls' Junior and Senior High School, Yokohama Futaba Gakuen, and Yokohama Jogakuin Girls School – have initiated to make the petition. The JR Negishi Line from Yokohama to Ofuna stations were specifically cited, where the four schools are passed by.
In order to help non-Japanese speakers in public schools, the Education Ministry is introducing Japanese language lessons during regular school hours. The new system will be carried out beginning next school year. Instructors and assistants who speak a student’s mother tongue will be assigned to the student. The ministry initiated the system stating that it will help non-Japanese speaking students to cope with school life, as well as with their daily social interactions.
The Ministry of Education's survey on parents and children revealed increasing teacher-student abuse in the 2012 fiscal year. More than 10,000 students were said to have received physical abuse from more than 5,000 teachers. Victims were found to be mostly high school students.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education released the list of 130 public schools that are currently facing corporal punishment cases. They also announced that 182 teachers and other employees were involved in instances where they punished students at 146 public elementary, junior high, senior high, and special schools in fiscal year 2012.