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20% of Japan's postsecondary students mull dropout amid virus crisis

From The Japan Times

A survey by a student group has revealed that 20.3 percent of postsecondary students in Japan are considering dropping out of their school due to the financial fallout from the spread of the novel coronavirus.

That marks a significant increase after the student group’s interim report, released on April 22, had shown that the proportion of such students came to only 7.8 percent.

The online survey by the group, called Free, covered junior college, university and graduate students, and others. A total of 1,200 people gave answers between April 9 and Monday.

According to the survey, 4.8 percent of respondents said they are strongly considering dropping out of school due to falls in their own income from part-time jobs or in their parents’ salaries, and 15.5 percent said they are giving some consideration to the option.

The survey also found that 0.2 percent of respondents have already decided to leave school.

Students who saw their income from part-time jobs fall to zero accounted for 28.5 percent of the total, and those who suffered drops in their part-time salaries made up 39.8 percent.

The survey showed that 53.2 percent of respondents saw the virus crisis have an impact on income of their parents or others supporting their households.

On online education, 8.6 percent of respondents said they do not have a computer, and 10.5 percent had no access to Wi-Fi.

“I lost my part-time job, and my parent, a taxi driver, became almost jobless,” a respondent said.

“My parents suffered a decline in their income, and I can’t work,” another respondent said. “I want to drop out if we can’t pay tuition fees and our debts swell.”