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2022 June 15 - 21 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

84% of teachers call for increase in number of gov't-set number of teachers

June 16 & 21, 2022
More than 84% of teachers think that "an increase in the number of government-set standards for the number of teachers" is the most effective way to solve the shortage of teachers. This was revealed in a survey Japanese Communist Party members of the House of Councilors Kira Yoshiko and Miyamoto Takeshi conducted between June 6 and June 12.

In the same survey, 98.5% of teachers responded that the Education Ministry's countermeasures, including earlier recruitment exams for teachers, "cannot fundamentally solve" the shortage.

According to the ministry, 2,558 positions fell short of the government-set standards, as of April 2021, causing problems such as no homeroom teachers being available on the first day of school.

Kira and Miyamoto on June 15 submitted the survey results to the ministry and demanded a boost in state budgets to substantially increase the number of government-set standards for the number of teachers and to improve the working conditions of teachers.

The survey's free-text box included comments regarding the difficult situations for teachers:

A homeroom teacher in her/his 30s in elementary school wrote, "I'm a second-grade teacher. More than two pupils with various challenges are in my class. Classroom hours often end with dealing with children walking around or running away from class, and my break times end by looking for or talking with them."

A junior high school teacher in her/his 20s wrote, "Three classes currently have no homeroom teachers because of the lack of substitutes since April. These classes are crumbling. As the school couldn't find a substitute for a pregnant teacher, an unlicensed person is teaching home economics."

An elementary school teacher in her/his 30s wrote, "Sometimes, pregnant teachers are compelled to accept teaching PE or swimming classes without a substitute or assistant."

A junior high school teacher in her/his 20s wrote, "We are told to reduce our overtime work hours to 45 hours a month, but I'm sure nearly 80% teachers cannot do so."

A junior high school teacher in her/his 20s wrote, "The Ministry of Education doesn't do anything to deal with problems at schools and only proposes an off-target measure. The government should appropriately invest in education for the sake of the country's future."
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