15.67 million signatures collected for uniform school class size of 30 pupils

The petition calling on the government to reduce the class size of public elementary and junior-high schools to a maximum of 30 students and for an increase in subsidies to private schools has been signed by about 15.67 million people as of December 3.

About 700 teachers and parents from around the country visited Dietmembers and held a demonstration and a street campaign. They handed over the collected signatures to Japanese Communist Party Dietmembers.

National Federation of Private School Teachers and Staff Union (Shikyoren) Secretary Komura Eiichi at the rally reported that the movements for better education for all children are gaining momentum in many parts of Japan.

Komura said that an increasing number of local governments are even demanding that the central government is responsible for reducing the class size to under 30. They criticize the central government for shifting the financial burden for education onto local governments, he added.

Komura called on the participants to promote partnerships among parents, teachers, children, and local community residents to push forward the movement for better education and the protection of the Fundamental Law of Education which is based on constitutional principles.

A senior high school student from Okayama Prefecture reported that he works part-time in order to pay his tuition and that he traveled around the prefecture to collect signatures because he wants no one to be forced to quit school due to financial difficulties. (end)