Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Parents need digital tools to deal with ‘first class barrier’

The condition shōichi no kabe“first-class barrier,” captures the hurdle parents face when their children enter primary school in Japan – a hurdle I have experienced firsthand.

I quit my full-time job after taking parental leave due to a lack of childcare options. And I’m not alone: ​​polls show that most working mothers are reconsidering their work style when their children start school, due to the increased burden this new chapter brings. And while the number of primary school students using after-school services is at a record high of 1.45 million, more than 16,000 others are still on waiting lists – the longest of which is in Tokyo, where I live, with a total of around 3,500 children.

Time management and communication with schools are the two biggest hurdles parents face in first grade. Both can be alleviated by using digital tools and a more flexible approach, but such solutions are still largely lacking in Japanese public schools.

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