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Japanese government promises reduced teacher responsibilities, right to refuse club supervision

15 Comments
By Katy Kelly, SoraNews24

Anyone who has ever taught or known a teacher knows how intense the workload can be — all over the world, teachers find themselves left adrift against a current of curriculums and nights spent grading papers, only to be rewarded with complaints and abuse from students, parents, and higher-ups alike. In Japan, things get even more intense for junior high school educators. Junior high school is when kids start joining extracurricular clubs and sports teams, and those need supervisors. Club activities can take place both before and after school and occasionally on weekends, and portions of summer vacation are carved out for events like competitions or performances.

One might wonder, then, when Japanese junior high school teachers are supposed to have time to do the other thousands of responsibilities they have to their students…and failing that, if there’s ever any time for them to get a break.

The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology is taking steps to address this problem by reforming club activities into “local activities”, meaning that local sports clubs, community workers, or gym staff could feasibly supervise in teachers’ stead. This also addresses the issue of teachers assigned to a club being unable to provide helpful guidance to their students; teachers are frequently assigned to sports or cultural clubs without any expertise in the club’s subject matter, meaning they can’t field student questions or give useful advice.

The reforms are expected to be put into practice in junior high schools three years from now, with high school reforms to follow suit depending on results. Response to the announced reforms was largely positive, although various netizens seemed doubtful that community figures would be capable of supervising the rowdy teens you’d expect to find in a junior high school club meeting.

“I wish they’d just let the kids take a break on holidays. You’re bound to get a lot of stuffy, old-fashioned types acting as ‘local guides’, too.”

“They should just let the teachers and the kids have the day off on holidays. Send them to private school if they’re that determined to do stuff.”

“‘Local activities’ means they’re just shunting work onto the private sector.”

“They’re giving this work to greenhorns who haven’t been trained in education? Those kids’ll eat them alive.”

It may be a very small step, but at least some effort is going towards lightening the load of Japan’s public school teachers.

Source: NHK News Web via My Game News Flash

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Crushing workload at schools is causing more Japanese teachers to crumble from chronic depression

-- Teacher says Japanese schools’ mandatory extracurricular activity rules don’t benefit students

-- Is Japan overworking its teachers? One exhausted educator says, “YES!”

© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

15 Comments
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Unless there's an emergency, Sat-Sun should be full holiday for teachers. Their personal life is miserable as hell in Japan.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

The reforms are expected to be put into practice in junior high schools three years from now, with high school reforms to follow suit depending on results. 

Wouldn’t want to rush anything.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

3 years? That's along time. I highly doubt it will achieve its goal. Sports clubs teach conformity and without that being rigorously enforced you will end up with independent thinkers, and that would tear the social structure asunder. The whole schooling system needs a do over not just the "Voluntary" sports clubs. But I do hope teachers get a break, must be exhausting dealing with other people's kids all week every week.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

“They should just let the teachers and the kids have the day off on holidays. ...”

And weekends, of course.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

"The right to refuse"

Just like the right to take paid holidays, paternity leave...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Is this club nonsense mandatory for the students? I've always wondered.

There's no way I would have voluntarily been in school after 3pm, or especially on a weekend or holiday. Screw that.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

When I was a kid, after 3:30pm and all day Saturday and Sunday were me-time. Never set foot on the school ground on the weekends except maybe once a year - school fete. School clubs and activities after school time were optional. Used to attend some, put a teachers' strike put an end to that. If teachers aren't paid enough, they'll put their foot down.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The issue with many things in Japan has never been the right to refuse anything. Its more so the repercussions of refusing something. Often, this greatly affects someone's career ability to move up or stability with a company. They need protection from that as well.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It may be a very small step, but at least some effort is going towards lightening the load of Japan’s public school teachers.

HA HA HA! Yeah! Sure!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

“Wouldn’t want to rush anything.”

Agreed

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They took away every single "guilty" pleasure a teacher could ever have for stress relief, so yeah, its high time they just reduced the stress load. Its decades past time in fact. I can't believe they finally woke up to the current situation and decided to delay action 3 years. They have already lost a lot of perfectly fine teachers over things that probably could have been avoided if not for the stress level. That left them with mostly soulless bots for teachers, if you want to call them teachers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

“They should just let the teachers and the kids have the day off on holidays. Send them to private school if they’re that determined to do stuff.”

So the teachers in private schools dont have any rights. Brilliant

1 ( +1 / -0 )

...while the govt retains the right to deny bonuses and promotions...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ah, the old “promises” word again.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why is is so complicated like many things here, sports and club activities should be assigned to professionals within the school system and NOT the private sector. The problem is Untrained and Unqualified teachers are being assigned to manage sports and clubs they were NOT prepared or trained for.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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