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HomeWorld newsLocal subsidies for Japan's 'free schools' highlight regional inequality

Local subsidies for Japan’s ‘free schools’ highlight regional inequality

With the number of children out of school estimated at 300,000 nationwide, local governments are increasingly subsidizing the cost of ‘free schools’ and similar initiatives to ensure diverse learning spaces, a move welcomed by private support groups.

However, they are calling for uniform support across the country, saying financial assistance in rural areas is still insufficient.

In Japan, a “free school” refers to alternative educational institutions, mainly for students who have left mainstream education. They provide flexible or ‘free’ learning environments in which students can choose their activities and schedules. Free schools are recognized by the Ministry of Education for participation purposes but do not receive financial support.

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