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EXCLUSIVE: Schoolyards to Be Open for Children to Ease Stress

April 7, 2020



Tokyo- The Japanese government will allow school playgrounds to be open during the emergency school shutdown amid the coronavirus epidemic, so children can ease stress built up from having to stay at home, Jiji Press learned Tuesday.

The decision will be reflected in the education ministry's revised guidelines on emergency school closures. The ministry will notify prefectural education boards and others of the revised guidelines, following the declaration by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of a state of emergency over the novel coronavirus on the day, informed sources said.

The revised guidelines will call for considering allowing access to schoolyards on condition that children avoid closed space, gatherings and close contact with others, or situations with higher infection risks.

Meanwhile, the new guidelines will require any school days during the emergency shutdown to be limited to the minimum necessary.

Teachers and other school staff will be urged to use teleworking and staggered commuting.

The revised guidelines will also call for preparing places for children of parents who have difficulties taking a leave from work, as well as providing psychological care to children. Jiji Press