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2014 October 22 - 28 [WELFARE]

Finance ministry proposes ending promotion of small class sizes for public schools

October 26, 2014
As part of austerity measures, the Finance Ministry plans to request the Education Ministry to raise the upper limit of class sizes for public elementary schools from the current 35 to 40 in FY 2015, Akahata reported on October 26.

The maximum class size of 35 is now applied to first-year pupils in public elementary schools across Japan. Parents and teachers are demanding that this class size rule be expanded to other grades without delay.

In Japan, the average number of students per class is 28 in elementary schools (for children aged between 6 and 12) and 33 in junior high schools (for children aged between 13 and 15), higher than the OECD average of 21 in elementary schools and 23 in junior high schools. When looking at other nations, the standard class size is 24-31 in the United States, 30 in Britain, and 24-28 in Germany.

The Finance Ministry is insisting that the ministry’s plan will contribute to reducing the number of teachers by 4,000 and state spending for education by 8.5 billion yen, according to Akahata.

Past related article:
> Abe Cabinet to shelve small-class size plan [January 27, 2013]
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