The Education Ministry plans to provide information about the novel coronavirus in multiple languages via email to schools not authorized for foreign nationals, an official said on Saturday.
The plan is part of preparations for a possible cluster of infections, as schools not approved by Japanese authorities could be excluded from various forms of official support.
The ministry will seek help from embassies and support groups for foreign nationals to create a list of unauthorized schools and send them information deemed necessary in several languages, including English and Portuguese, according to the official.
The government is not sure of the exact number of schools that are not allowed for foreign nationals.
According to a 2019 survey by the ministry, there were 124,000 foreign children aged 6 to 15 in Japan and as many as 19,000 were believed to have remained out of school, with some of them apparently receiving education at home or in schools. not allowed. .
The ministry aims to use the data collected beyond its response to the virus in the future to improve education support for foreign children, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
As of March 2019, there were 126 authorized foreign schools in Japan, according to the ministry, which provided them with masks as part of measures to protect children and teachers from COVID-19. These schools are also eligible to receive grants from local governments in certain cases.
But unauthorized schools, which apparently exist in all sizes across Japan, remain out of the reach of aid because it is not known where they are or how many children are attending. It is said that some children receive private education in small groups in apartments.
In Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, there are three schools serving the Brazilian community of approximately 9,000 residents, one of whom is still unregistered and therefore cannot receive prefecture grants.
The city provides up to 10,000 yen to each foreign family with students to cover the cost of textbooks, regardless of the school attended.
Toyota, in Aichi prefecture, is supporting two unlicensed Brazilian schools by organizing disaster drills and checkups, in addition to assistance with virus precautions.
Noting that translating virus information is a tedious job, a Toyota city official said, “If the government is actively involved in the process, it will be easier for us to work together (with such schools ).