Japan to offer foreign students help with high school entrance tests

Japan's education ministry has instructed public senior high schools across the country to provide special considerations for foreign applicants in taking entrance exams.

In a notice issued for the regional education boards, the ministry compiled steps to be taken to help foreign nationals applying for senior high schools.

The ministry cites the importance for children from abroad to receive proper senior high school education to become independent citizens in Japanese society.

The notice calls for setting up special quotas for such applicants. It also calls for allowing them to use dictionaries during the tests and providing phonetic hiragana characters beside more difficult kanji characters in their test sheets to help them read the questions.

A survey conducted by the ministry in 2021 shows more than 47,000 children lacked adequate Japanese language skills ---an 80-percent increase in the space of about ten years.

Officials say they issued the notice because only a limited number of schools have introduced special quotas or other measures for foreign applicants.