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  • Writer's picturePhillip Radcliffe

Parent’s economic gap creates children’s education gap

(Japanese translation below)

In recent years, the social problem of parent’s economic gap has be a factor in the falling percentage of students enrolling in universities. Japanese education is ranked highly in the world, but children of low income households can’t attend university lecture classes, while children of affluent have no obstacles.

The Japanese educational system doesn’t spend a lot of money for students, so higher education is covered by private savings. Leading universities are monopolized by rich families, and the economically weak can’t afford to go there. Also, they can’t afford to attend cram school because their parents can’t pay expensive monthly fees.

Because of this, their children can’t receive a poor secondary education, so they can’t get into a national university. In addition, they can’t enter a private university without taking on large student loans. Also, Japanese companies take students’ parents’ academic background into account when hiring, so this creates a gap in wages. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for children from this economically challenged homes to break free from this vicious circle.

This negative spiral is created by gaps in income, education and wages. The Japanese government should cancel the repayment of student loans in order to close these gaps. If this were introduced in Japan, the child poverty rate would decrease dramatically. Out of 34 developed countries, Denmark ranks first for the least amount of child poverty while Japan is ranked 25th. This is related to the different social welfare systems in Denmark and Japan.

In other words, it is related to how taxes are used. In Denmark, for example, education is free from elementary school to graduate school. The Japanese government should use taxes more effectively to resolve various income gaps, and they have to release information to the public as to how their taxes are being used.


内海 雄介





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