Since 2000, the issue of dropouts and hikikomori has gradually become a major social issue in Japan. A period of particular risk is children’s school years, when a student who becomes truant for a while may be likely to become a dropout and then potentially hikikomori. 


Once this occurs, these young people need a bridge to return to their peers. 


Samugaku aims to offer such a bridge, and this is one of the reasons why Samugaku takes the form of a school. Students are encouraged to have a regular routine, where they wake up at an appropriate time, get ready for the day, go to class, learn new things in the class, and interact with others during the school day. 

サムガクはそのような架け橋を提供することを目指しており、これがサムガクが学校の形態をとっている理由の 1 つです。生徒は、適切な時間に起き、一日の準備をし、授業に行き、授業で新しいことを学び、学校で他の生徒と交流するという規則的な日課を身につけることが奨励されています。

We are able to offer classes in subjects such as music, English, math, social studies, drawing, cooking, computers, agriculture, physical education, and Japanese calligraphy. Through these classes, students who have fallen out of the habit of regularly attending school and learning can be eased back into using their bodies and brains.


Depending on the age of the students, they may then try to rejoin their same age peers at a regular school at least once a week, or study to take high school diplomas so they can have the same high school qualifications as their age-mates.


Helping dropouts and hikikomori step back into the classroom is a process that requires significant support from parents, teachers, and counsellors, and each students’ individual situation has to be carefully considered. Samugaku tailors its approach to each student to give them the best chance of catching up with where they are supposed to be.

中退者やひきこもりの生徒が学校に戻るのを助けるには、親、教師、カウンセラーからの多大なサポートが必要なプロセスであり、各生徒の個々の状況を慎重に考慮する必要があります。Samugaku は、各生徒に合わせたアプローチを採用し、生徒が本来の姿に戻れるよう最大限のチャンスを提供します。

In addition to the full-time core program, Samugaku is also making efforts to reach out to those who may be at risk of becoming dropouts or hikikomori. Samugaku runs the Samu Café at local high schools around Ueda, and students who are truant or are struggling at school are welcome to come and talk with Samugaku’s teachers and counsellors freely. 


Through this, we can help identify potential dropouts and hikikomori and try to help them before they get to that point.


It is much easier to help someone while they are still sometimes attending school or still connected with their peers in some way compared to if they officially dropout, so we hope these outreach efforts will help prevent some future dropouts and hikikomori.


Samugaku is grateful for our supporters who allow us to offer these kinds of programs, and hopes to increase and expand the scope of these efforts in the future.




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