March 2 all of a sudden schools throughout the country were closed. Thus,
school teachers were forced to work in an enormous quantity of messes. At each
family, too, anxieties are piling up as the future is unforeseeable, which
triggers risks of exposure of children to domestic violence.
SET UP SPACE FOR CHILDREN TO LIVE IN SAFE
is two months since Prime Minister Abe Shinzo ordered to shut down schools
across the country. All elementary, junior-high and high schools have been
closed since then.
temporary school closure is set forth by the Act on Hygiene and Safety at
Schools, and authority over judgment is given to the municipal government (Board
of Education). The abrupt government’s decision, however, exceeding the
boundary of laws, has let schools face various obstacles as teachers could not afford
to prepare for a long recess, like summer holidays.
of infection and the right to learn
first problem is a way how to ensure children, simultaneously, to be prevented
from infection and to study. At the beginning school authorities had steps to
divide students by grades so as to arrive at schools at different timelines, or
to separate classes into two to be held in the morning part and in the afternoon,
but these measures were later lifted due to risks of contagion.
Ministry of Education is, reportedly, to implement the GIGA School Initiative
ahead of time and to give all boys and girls a tablet by the next fiscal. Under
the today’s circumstances, however, when classes halt on a provisional basis,
the policy does not serve the purpose. Though free-of-charge teaching
materials, like internet movies and printed tools are available, they cannot be
used well as some families do not have online conditions to respond to.
Discrepancy is generated.
schools cannot even hand over new textbooks to each student in April, when the
new school term began. School authorities and the boards of education of municipalities
should provide helpful means to guarantee children to learn until schools are
lunches have stopped
second problem is an anxiety whether children are properly nourished as school
lunches are suspended. According to a survey of the 2018 by the Ministry of Education,
over 15% of elementary school kids do not have a habit of breakfast. School
lunches help them to supplement nutrition. Because of the outbreak of disease
parents diminish incomes. It is urgently necessary for the state and municipal
governments to pay cash to people and give subsidies to the local programs to
operate Children’s Restaurants.
of children coming from parents’ anxieties
third trouble is ill-treatment at home as children do not have a way to go out.
Children are robbed of objectives to study and tasks to carry out, losing
friends and funs. They are being pushed to internet games and smart-phones.
parents worry about infection and their jobs, which they are obliged to leave.
They are concerned about the uncertain future. They tend to scold children when
the younger do not follow the older. Municipal Consultation Centers of Children
are, as a rule, ready to protect children during the usual vacations, but they
cannot work well enough due to the sudden closure of schools.
of ill-treatment are increasing. Schools and the children’s centers should work
earnestly and appropriately; to talk on the phone with children about how to
stay home and to give them advice, and with parents and guardians of children
to discuss troubles they face so that children can lead a life under safe