70% of Japanese parents feel troubled by school closures
Nikkei -- Mar 15
About 70% of Japanese parents and caregivers are either "troubled" or "very troubled" by the nationwide closure of schools, according to a survey released on Tuesday.

Tokyo-based Florence, a nonprofit organization that works with day care centers and other children's facilities, conducted the online survey from March 6 through March 9. It received 8,339 valid responses from caregivers of preschool- to high school-age children.

Among the respondents, 68.1% said they are either "very troubled" or "troubled." In one-parent households, or those earning less than 3 million yen ($28,771) a year, the share was greater than 70%.

As for specific concerns, 69.9% of respondents are anxious that their children are not getting enough exercise. The second biggest worry was about kids experiencing mental stress from not being able to see their friends, at 56.8%. Also, 56.6% of the respondents said they are afraid their children will fall behind in their studies. Multiple answers were permitted.

Asked how they are dealing with their kids being home or what services they are using, more than 60% of the respondents said they are making their children's lunches, 32.7% said they are leaving their children home alone for long periods of time and 16.1% said they are making use of public and private centers that take care of children outside of school hours. The lower a household's income, the less likely they are to use services like online learning programs.

As for what the public and private sectors could provide to help with the situation, more than half of the respondents said they want "places for children to go and play" and "educational aid to compensate for falling behind in classes."

News source: Nikkei
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