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Japan ranks second lowest in education spending among OECD countries

  • September 15, 2016
  • , Kyodo News
  • English Press

Japan’s public spending on education ranked the second lowest among 33 comparable member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an OECD report for 2013 showed Thursday.


Japan narrowly avoided the last place which it saw in 2012 as the ratio of its educational expenditure to gross domestic product stood at 3.2 percent, a tad higher than Hungary’s 3.1 percent.


The average ratio of such public spending-to-GDP among OECD countries was 4.5 percent, with Norway leading the list at 6.2 percent, followed by Denmark at 6.1 percent and Belgium, Finland and Iceland tying at 5.6 percent.


Japan’s total public and private funding on education per child was, however, found to be higher than the OECD average given higher costs on universities and kindergartens in Japan. The survey pointed out it suggests that Japanese households bear a heavy financial burden regarding education.


The survey also showed the average working hours of teachers at public schools from kindergartens to high schools in Japan reached 1,891 hours for 2014, about 300 hours longer than the OECD average, as Japanese teachers spend lots of time on club activities, paperwork and meetings.


In another sign of deteriorating working conditions for teachers in Japan, the survey showed the average income of teachers at elementary to high schools with 15 years of work experience fell 7 percent in the period from 2005 to 2014, while the OECD average income was on the rise.

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