Record 244,940 children refuse to go to school

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The number of elementary and junior high school students in Japan who refused to go to school for a total of at least 30 days in fiscal 2021, which ended last March, jumped by 48,813, or 24.9%, from the previous year to a record 244,940, an education ministry survey showed Thursday.

The total went up for the ninth straight year.

The ministry said the sharp increase in the number of absentees can be attributed to children’s disturbed life patterns and less reluctance to miss school amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, as well as fewer communication opportunities among students because of restricted school activities.