- 14 Mar 2002
- Reaction score
Hard to fathom: Japanese welfare recipients are prohibited from studying. This often leads to students dropping out when they face financial difficulties. The welfare ministry refuses to change the 1963 rule, which bans welfare recipients from attending higher education, despite calls from critics who argue doing so would give poor people better opportunities in life and lift more people out of poverty.
The Japan Federation of Bar Associations is among those urging the government to scrap the rule. It said that 80 per cent of children from average households now attend college or university, but only 40 per cent from families on public assistance go on to higher education. The calls to scrap the prohibition come after a committee of the Social Security Council reviewed the public assistance program and compiled a draft document that left the rule unchanged. The draft said the country needs to maintain a balance between those receiving public assistance and other households where students work part-time to pay their way through junior college or a university. Welfare ministry officials said some high school graduates immediately enter the workforce instead of pursuing higher education.