#2 of the images The “Teacher’s Baton” Continues as the “Education Field” is Exhausted in the Shadow of Strengthening the National Defense | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Nowadays, both elementary and junior high schools have a large amount of work outside the classroom, such as “teaching Internet literacy, including the use of mobile phones and smartphones,” “counseling and guidance on social networking problems among children,” “complaints from parents,” and “handling complaints from neighbors” (Photo: Image: AFLO) The “education field” is becoming increasingly blackened. “The current shortage of teachers is largely because that the current generation of teachers in their forties or so has been slacking off as a result of a temporary, unplanned curtailment of hiring. Nationwide, the average ratio is about 3 times today, but it was 12.5 times in 2000, the peak year. When I became a teacher, there were no teachers of my generation at all in schools, and they were all much older than me. I was told by my seniors, “Your generation is hiring too few people and there are no people at all, so you will definitely get an assistant principal or something,” and in fact, there was no one to do it, so I did it. Due to the shortage of teachers, part-time teachers are often appointed as classroom teachers. But there are also places where the vice-principal also serves as a classroom teacher. Vice-principals are already hard workers, and to be honest, it’s too much to ask them to become classroom teachers as well.” (40’s, an elementary school teacher in Tokyo) “In addition to maternity and childcare leave, there are many teachers who take time off due to mental illness or physical problems, so there is always a shortage of teachers. There is such a shortage that even teachers who have just taken a leave of absence due to maternity leave, illness, depression, etc. are immediately contacted and asked, “Are you ready to go back?” It’s hard to take a break at all.  The vice principal of a school I know is so busy that he is confused. To make up for the shortage of teachers, he went through the teacher registration list from one end to the other but could find no teachers at all. He found himself on the second round of the same list, without being able to find a single person among the mountain of names on the list,” said a vice principal of a junior high school in Tokyo in his 40s. Incidentally, some junior high schools are outsourcing club activities, but parents sometimes ask, “Who will take responsibility when something happens on a day off without a teacher?” In both elementary and junior high schools, teachers now have a large amount of work to do outside of the classroom, such as teaching Internet literacy, including the use of cell phones and smartphones, providing counseling and guidance on social networking problems among children, handling complaints from parents, and responding to complaints from neighbors. Moreover, we frequently receive a large number of surveys from the government, such as a national survey on how all staff members spend their long vacations (destinations), a survey on graffiti on election posters, etc. We don’t know when and where they will be used and the results will not be made public. I feel bad asking busy teachers to do it each time, and there is no one to tabulate them, so in the end, I (vice-principal) do it myself. (Why don’t you ask the principal to do it?) The principal is the busiest person in the school, so it’s impossible. Just having a staff member who specializes in administrative work would be a great help, and if overtime pay was available, I think the shortage of teachers would improve, too. With the serious shortage of teachers and the long working hours of teachers becoming a major problem, improving the compensation of teachers is an urgent issue to improve the situation. The House of Councilors election will be held on July 10, and one of the criteria for selecting candidates and political parties should be whether or not they have “education spending” and other issues on their agenda.

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The “Teacher’s Baton” Continues as the “Education Field” is Exhausted in the Shadow of Strengthening the National Defense


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