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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 May 13 - 19  > Teachers’ union opposes hasty introduction of September start of school year
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2020 May 13 - 19 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Teachers’ union opposes hasty introduction of September start of school year

May 15, 2020
The All Japan Teachers and Staffs Union (Zenkyo) on May 13 released a statement opposing the government move to consider the possibility of changing the start of the school year from April to September. The government made this move in reaction to public concern over the lost class time due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Since all schools in Japan closed on March 2 in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, students have been unable to attend classes. With the concern over the loss of access to education by children growing, the government is looking into the possibility of a September start of Japan's school year from 2021.

The Zenkyo statement, which was published under the name of General Secretary Danbara Takaya, points out that changing the start of the school year requires newly designed curriculums in all schools, including pre-schools and universities, as well as coordination between schools and stakeholders in their local communities and beyond. Stressing that such a far-reaching reform should not be discussed in tandem with urgent short-term measures, the statement warns that a hasty introduction of a September start will only cause chaos among students, teachers, and other persons concerned.

The Zenkyo statement insists that the need now is for the government to not pour human and financial resources into the discussion of a change in the start of the school year but to work harder to ensure that students can maintain their physical and mental health as well as have access to education. It also stresses that the government should increase the numbers of teachers and school rooms so that students can study under a small-sized classroom system. It also urges the government to allow schools to adjust their curriculums more flexibly in accordance with their particular needs.

Past related articles:
> Shii talks with PM Abe regarding fight against COVID-19[ March 5, 2020]
> Abe should listen to experts sincerely in efforts to contain new coronavirus [ March 3, 2020]
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