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INTERVIEW: New Education Minister eager to review teacher training

  • September 25, 2019
  • , Jiji Press , 6:01 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, Sept. 25 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s new education minister Koichi Hagiuda expressed on Wednesday his eagerness to review the country’s teacher training system.


“Teaching is a significant job linked to human resource development,” Hagiuda, minister of education, culture, sports, science and technologies, said in an interview with news organizations including Jiji Press.


“I’ve been wondering a little whether it is really good for children and prospective teachers that graduates of four-year (college) teacher-training courses will teach at school from the first year of their careers,” Hagiuda said.


He said he is keen to create a system that prevents teachers who face challenges from dropping out and allows them to restart their careers after brushing up their skills.


He also mentioned a possible system to allow athletes such as those who have played in international events to work as teachers at elementary, junior high and high schools after getting a certain amount of training, even if they have not finished college teacher-training courses.


Such a system will hopefully be considered to become a legacy of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, Hagiuda said.


Ahead of an extraordinary session of parliament due to start Oct. 4, Hagiuda said his ministry is preparing legislation to give legal status to working hour guidelines for teachers at publicly run schools, and to make it easier for teachers to take extended holidays.


On a high-profile cronyism scandal involving school operator Kake Educational Institution, headed by a friend of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Hagiuda, who is close to Abe, said he is ready to give as full explanations as he can.


Meanwhile, Hagiuda said his ministry will basically proceed with the planned adoption of private-sector English tests for university entrance examinations, while making preparations to minimize any confusion.

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