Govt Paper Sounds Alarm Over Long Working Hours of Teachers

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The education ministry, in an annual report released Tuesday, expressed a sense of crisis over long working hours of teachers.

In the education, science and technology white paper for fiscal 2022, which ended in March this year, the ministry stressed that correcting long working hours of teachers is an urgent task.

Motivated and capable individuals should not be discouraged from becoming teachers due to the deterioration of working conditions, the white paper also said.

While recognizing certain progress in work style reform for teachers, the paper noted that there are still many teachers working long hours, pointing to preliminary data of a fiscal 2022 survey on teachers’ actual working situation which showed that the average monthly overtime at school per teacher came to about 41 hours for elementary school teachers and about 58 hours for junior high school teachers.

In the white paper, the ministry clarified its stance to promote the “giga school” initiative of making an information device available to each student at elementary and junior high schools across the country.