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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 June 3 - 9  > JCP issues urgent proposal on reopening of schools
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2020 June 3 - 9 [POLITICS]

JCP issues urgent proposal on reopening of schools

June 3, 2020

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on June 2 at a press conference in the Diet building published an urgent proposal on the reopening of schools after three months of closure due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Later on the same day, JCP Diet Affairs Commission Chair Kokuta Keiji requested his counterpart in the Liberal Democratic Party Moriyama Hiroshi to convey the JCP proposal to Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.

At the press conference, Shii pointed out that the prolonged school closure has caused a delay in students’ learning and that many children feel anxious and distressed as shown in a survey by the National Center for Child Health and Development. Shii said that it is necessary to educate children with much care and with due respect to each child’s individuality as well as to carry out the type of education which can adjust teaching methods flexibly to the reality facing students.

Then, Shii said that to achieve this, the government should urgently implement the following two policies.

First, Shii proposed to drastically improve education conditions by such means as increasing the number of teachers by 100,000.

Shii pointed out that under the current 40-student class size system, it is difficult to maintain a social distance of at least one meter as called for by the government’s expert panel. He said that in order to provide education in an attentive and flexible manner as well as to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is essential to reduce the class size to around 20 students by increasing the number of teachers by 100,000. Shii noted that the second supplementary budget draft includes spending for hiring more teaching staff, but the planned increase is only 3,100 teachers while there are 30,000 elementary and junior high schools in total across the country. Along with the additional 100,000 teachers, Shii called for a measure to increase the number of other school staff, such as teaching assistants, by around 100,000-150,000.

Shii also underscored the need to change the government guidelines for teaching to a more flexible one in order to establish an education system that better fits the needs of children.

Furthermore, in regard to the government attempt to change the start of the school year to September, Shii urged the government to abandon this attempt without delay as the change will impose an unbearable burden on the general public.

Past related articles:
> Teachers’ union opposes hasty introduction of September start of school year [May 15, 2020]
> Gov’t anti-coronavirus measures should pay more attention to children’s rights [May 5, 2020]
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