Japanese Education Ministry’s Social Media Recruitment Campaign Slammed By Teachers

Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Koichi Hagiuda (Mainichi / Masahiro Kawata)

TOKYO – The Education Ministry’s social media campaign to generate interest in becoming teachers was criticized by those already in class, pointing to the difficult working environment for Japanese educators.

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology launched the campaign on Twitter and the Japanese social network platform “note” to inform young aspiring teachers of the appeal of job. The campaign comes as fewer young people express their interest in the profession.

Education Minister Koichi Hagiuda told a press conference on March 30 after a Cabinet meeting: “I felt confused by the opinions expressed (online) such as” Young students better d ‘avoid coming to such a workplace. “He added:” I emphasized my decision that we must take teachers’ feelings seriously and move forward with reforms of working style in schools. ”

The campaign, launched on March 26, is dubbed the “Teachers’ Stick Project”. Young employees of the Ministry of Education came up with the idea of ​​disseminating information, including teachers’ passion for their educational activities, to students and workers considering becoming teachers.

The initiative was originally intended for teachers to post scenes from daily school life and creative endeavors, and hashtag the positive stories with “Teachers’ Baton”. Instead, the ministry’s call for nominations drew a flood of comments from teachers about their plight in schools.

These comments included:

– “Measurement of seat height and pinworm tests; they are the only burden that has been reduced over the past 20 years. (They were conducted in schools in Japan until the 2015 school year.)

– “I will retire tomorrow. I worked from morning to night. Now I think I lost too much.”

One comment criticized the responses from the education ministry, saying, “(The ministry) took advantage of the goodwill of teachers, assumed the wishes of guardians and society, and failed to protect teachers.

After the criticisms, on March 29, the ministry posted on social media: “We reconfirmed the difficult situation in which teachers find themselves, and we firmly believe that we must accelerate the reform”, and “We will analyze the opinions expressed. , and would like to use them for essential reform.

A 2016 university survey by the ministry found that more than 30% of elementary school teachers and almost 60% of junior high school teachers worked 80 hours of overtime per month, which is considered death due to overwork.

To ease the burden on teachers, the ministry will end the supervision of weekend club activities by middle and high schools and begin transferring them to community activities in stages from 2023. It is also consulting with the Central Council of education on a fundamental review of the teaching license renewal system, which currently requires teachers to take a renewal course once every 10 years.

(Japanese original by Akira Okubo, City News Department)


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