The Daily Manila Shimbun


3,800 more elementary, junior high school workers to be sought

August 25, 2017

TOKYO- Japan's education ministry plans to demand an increase of 3,800 in the quota of public elementary and junior high school staff in fiscal 2018, aiming chiefly to better prepare for English education, Jiji Press learned Thursday.

With English set to be a regular elementary school subject from in fiscal 2020 under the country's new curriculum guidelines, the ministry hopes to reduce the burden on homeroom teachers by sharply expanding teaching staff for English, informed sources said.

The ministry will also seek to boost the number of clerical workers to improve school operations, as part of an effort to promote work-style reforms for teachers working long hours, according to the sources.

For the year from next April, the ministry aims to increase teaching staff for specific subjects at elementary schools by 2,200, primarily English teachers.

The ministry hopes to expand the number of teachers for student guidance and counseling by 500 at junior high schools, to strengthen countermeasures for bullying and support truant students.

Also included in its request will be an increase of 400 in the number of clerical workers, designed to help create an environment where headmasters and deputy headmasters can concentrate on school management, as well as to better handle issues such as poverty among children.

In addition, the ministry hopes for a rise of 385 in the number of teachers who are to be allocated in accordance with the number of children from the current fiscal year through March. Such teachers include those who teach students with developmental disabilities and students from abroad who do not speak Japanese well.

The total number of public elementary and junior high school staff members in Japan is expected to post a net increase of 800, considering a natural decrease of 3,000 caused mainly by a low birthrate.

In its budget request for fiscal 2018, the ministry will seek 1,518.9 billion yen in compulsory education expenditures from national coffers.

But the ministry's total request will drop by some 6 billion yen from the previous year, reflecting a salary decline due in part to the younger average age of school staff. Jiji Press