Schools for kids of ‘newcomer’ foreigners reach 100 http://search.japantimes.co.jp/mail/nn20071103a8.htmlKyodo News Saturday, Nov. 3, 2007
The number of schools for children from Brazil and other countries is rapidly increasing and has reached 100 nationwide, a study conducted by private organizations showed Friday.
However, according to the Multicultural Center Tokyo and other groups working on the issue, many of the schools are mired in financial doldrums. Unauthorized by the government as schools, they do not qualify for public subsidies.
The study only targeted schools for foreigners who came to Japan in the 1980s or later, and did not survey traditional international schools or those for Korean and Chinese residents who have lived in Japan for generations.
Of the 100 schools, 94 are for Brazilians, three for children from South American countries other than Brazil, and one each for kids from India, the Philippines and Indonesia.
The study was conducted in cooperation with local educational support groups for foreign children nationwide and its results are set to be announced Sunday at the Multi-Ethnic Education Forum 2007 in Tokyo.
A forum committee believes not all the eligible schools were counted in the latest study.
Julieta Yoshimura, chairman of the Association of Brazilian Schools in Japan, said: “There were only 10 to 20 Brazilian schools in Japan in 2001, but that number has increased since. Some schools have been forced to shut down due to financial difficulties.”
Wang Huijin, head of the Multicultural Center Tokyo, said: “Japanese society is now unable to function properly without foreigners, and I question Japan’s stance of taking no measures in accepting foreigners. Communities need to provide educational assistance to them.”
Fearing bullying at school, “newcomer” foreigners are increasingly calling for such schools, according to Chang Hang Nyeon, executive secretary of Network of Foreign Schools, adding that those planning to go back to their home countries need to achieve proficiency in their mother tongue.
A separate study by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has so far found more than 80 Brazilian schools across Japan.