Educational gap and its impact on students’ future

Katariba addresses the social problem where children’s ability to thrive can be circumvented by their surroundings. Children and students should be able to study regardless of their parents’ income or areas they live. We believe there are many hard-to-see opportunity gaps in Japan where equal opportunity for education is said to exist.

Gap in educational environment that cannot be seen

Katariba operates two Collabo-Schools in the towns of Ohtsuchi in Iwate Prefecture and Onagawa in Miyagi Prefecture. Both academically and psychologically, Katariba has supported children who have lost their places to study. Even after the end of the initial recovery phase and the restoration of the educational environment, for education has been restored, the future and careers remain uncertain for many students. Getting local employment opportunities remain difficult in the earthquake and tsunami affected areas, forcing youth to move to larger cities. Children in the affected areas still face difficulties in drawing their own visions for the future and to get inspiration from adults in the rural areas where the children live. This is the case not only in disaster affected areas but also in many rural areas around Japan that face shrinking population.

Need to motivated and to believe in the possibility to change your future

Katariba classrooms are provided to high-school students in Tokyo metropolitan area and around Japan. Many of these students have ample opportunities within their reach to open up new possibilities for their future, and grow through those opportunities. However, not all students can take initiative in finding their own career paths. Students must have confidence that they can create the own future. Otherwise, they will not be able to utilize these opportunities. In today’s Japan, there still remains serious yet hard-to-see gap on opportunities for education.

Power to thrive in an uncertain world

With the rapid pace of globalization and IT revolution, many ordinary Japanese may face difficulties in keeping their jobs like before. As children and students face such new reality, they will need to have more skillsets than just academic competence. Whether students can obtain these skillsets such as “taking initiative,” “teamwork,” “communication skills” and “leadership” can depend more on their family background than their academic competence. Why are such skills or motivation necessary to thrive in an uncertain world affected by children’s social background? Why does the ability to set specific future goal and find role models depend on the education they received and society they belong? Why will these differences result in the varying images of future among children? These are the questions that prompted the creation of Katariba, and the question Katariba is in search for an answer.