Japan’s junior high school teachers face longest average working hours in OECD survey

Asia/ Japan/ 08.07.2019/ Source: www.japantimes.co.jp


Japanese junior high school teachers worked the longest hours on average among 48 countries and regions surveyed by the OECD, it said Wednesday.

Junior high teachers in the country worked 56 hours per week on average, compared with 38.3 hours a week among all of the participants in the “2018 Teaching and Learning International Survey.”

It is the second time in a row that the OECD has found that Japanese teachers work the longest hours, and their hours increased an average of 2.1 hours from the previous survey in 2013.

Similarly, primary school teachers in Japan worked 54.4 hours a week, longer than their peers in 15 countries and economies surveyed.

The survey for Japan was conducted by the Paris-based institution from February to March 2018, with questionnaires sent to 3,568 junior high school teachers, 3,321 elementary school teachers and around 400 principals.

The education ministry decided in January to cap overtime for teachers at 45 hours per month, or 360 hours over 12 months.

A junior high school teacher spent an average of 7.5 hours per week on students’ extracurricular club activities, compared with the overall average of 1.9 hours a week, while administrative work took up 5.6 hours, compared with the total average of 2.7 hours.

Primary school teachers in Japan spent longer on planning, preparing lessons and paperwork than those in other countries. Such teachers devoted an average of 0.6 hour to extracurricular activities.

Japan’s new curriculum guidelines promote deeper learning through independent and interactive means, but the percentage of secondary school teachers who frequently or always gave “tasks that require students to think critically” was 12.6 percent, the lowest figure and a far cry from the 61 percent average among all the countries surveyed.

Further, only 16.1 percent of teachers in Japan presented “tasks for which there is no obvious solution,” compared with the 37.5 percent average among all the countries surveyed.

A 57-year-old teacher at a public junior high school in Saitama Prefecture said much of the overtime at his school is not recorded. As a veteran teacher, he is loaded with tasks, such as helping managers and taking care of younger teachers. He arrives at work just after 6 a.m. and finishes work at 7 p.m. at the earliest. On his busiest days, he works until around 9 p.m. He sometimes has to clear his backlog of work before and after the school’s extracurricular activities that he supervises on weekends.

A board of education in his local area has set a goal of not exceeding 80 hours of overtime per month, which is regarded as the threshold for karōshi, or death caused by overwork. His school introduced a system to keep track of teachers’ work hours about six months ago.

The teacher’s amount of monthly overtime topped 80 hours in April, yet his managers only prodded him to leave work as early as possible, and the school has shown little intention of overhauling teachers’ assignments in detail.

The man has since learned to record fewer hours than he has actually worked. Many of his colleagues do likewise.

“The number of work hours has decreased, when you take it at face value,” the teacher said. “But that is meaningless.”

Another teacher at a public junior high school in Tokyo said he now has reduced workloads related to extracurricular activities and other tasks.

But the 35-year-old still works 80 to 100 hours of overtime per month. He said he spends a lot of time attending to students’ parents and other things.

“The amount of work for teachers has been increasing for the sake of students. We should consider what it really means to ‘serve students well’ and review our work,” he said.

Source of the notice: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/06/20/national/japans-junior-high-school-teachers-face-longest-average-working-hours-oecd-survey/#.XSKS9OgzbIU

Comparte este contenido:

Hungry, unwashed children fill our schools – how has it come to this?

By: .


According to a survey from the headteachers’ union, the Association of School and College Leaders, schools have become “an unofficial fourth emergency service” for the families worst affected by austerity across England and Wales.

A majority of the 400 school leaders surveyed said schools were increasingly forced to help pupils, despite less help from councils, and have had to cut budgets. Schools are helping with food parcels, equipment, shoes and hygiene – nine out of 10 give out clothes, while nearly half do laundry for them. Some are running impromptu food banks or sourcing beds.

How could it not be a source of national shame that there are food banks in any schools in England and Wales? When did it become normal for schools to wash pupils’ clothes? As for anyone wishing to start ranting about parents sitting, smoking, with cans of lager, in front of wide-screen televisions – spare me. Wasn’t it precisely these Tory cartoons of the unemployed and low-income workers that gave austerity measures credibility in the first place? That fake standoff between “striver” and “skiver” (remember that?) pitted people against each other, when, in truth, they had all too much in common.

While it’s just one survey, it’s far from a one-off – schools keep trying to speak up about how much they’re helping pupils. It’s happening on too large a scale for it to be dismissed as straightforward parental failure. Pupils have come to this because they reflect the reduced circumstances of their families – they are merely the school-aged manifestation of peak-impact austerity. Swaths of the population have been crushed to the point where basics (food, clothes, heating, hot water) have become unaffordable. Underresourced schools have been left to cope with the fallout and teachers are only able to teach pupils after they’ve dealt with their basic needs.

This fundamentally undermines what schools are supposed to be – educational establishments. While there has always been an element of social work to teaching, it shouldn’t be so dominant. What should be a place about teaching and learning becomes a barely disguised holding pen, with a bit of ABC thrown in. It wouldn’t just be a relief if these children manage to reach their full potential – it would be a miracle.

While schools go above and beyond for their pupils, why does the buck stop there? Long-term austerity seems to have numbed people into accepting relentless struggle as normality, almost as though it’s all a terrible, inexplicable enchantment in a warped austerity-themed fairytale.

In reality, there’s a context (actual policies, brazen cuts) explaining how it all happened and telling us exactly who is responsible. So, yes, it’s very sad to hear about these children who arrive at school needing food and clothes before they can even think about algebra. It’s also the government’s responsibility to own its mess and do something about it.

The gossip mill continues to churn about the actress Kate Beckinsale, 45, dating the 25-year-old comedian Pete Davidson. And when I say “gossip mill”, I mean, saddos like me, who tragically feel the compulsion to gawp at happy couples, forensically examining photos of them, say, smooching at hockey games, in order to pass ill-informed judgment on their relationship. So, let’s do it.

Considering the sexist “cradle-snatching” fuss, you’d have thought that Davidson was in his teens, not a high-achieving grown man. Although some of us might not want to deal with the “extra admin” that seems to go with a large age difference (“They used to be called Marathon bars, goddammit!”), if others are up for it, then more power to them. While Davidson is punching above his weight, he’d probably admit to “punching” just as hard with his erstwhile fiancee, Ariana Grande, similar in age. Besides, he has already sagely pointed out that the older-male/younger-female celebrity dynamic is practically Hollywood’s 11th commandment.

With age-gap couples such as Beckinsale and Davidson, the focus is always on it being a “terrible shame” that they aren’t similar ages, at the same stage in life. However, who’s to say that they would have got on as well if they had been at the same life-stage? They could have irritated, even disliked, each other. Their differences might have mattered more – there could have been more niggles and clashes – over values, perspectives, anything. It’s quite possible that their age gap is making them not sweat the dreaded “small stuff” and have more fun.

Best of luck to Beckinsale and Davidson, an odd couple who could be living proof that sometimes age differences aren’t the problem, they’re the things that make it work.

Are women too wary of corporate tokenism? The Investment Association, a £7.7tn investor group, has joined the Hampton-Alexander review, a diversity study, to send letters to 66 FTSE 350 firms that have only one female board member. Good. “One and done” syndrome is a joke, when the government target is around 33%.

However, another problem lies with the wider negative perception of female quotas and targets, when even qualified, credible female candidates find themselves dismissed as not getting there entirely on merit. This gives quotas an undeserved bad name, even among women, who worry that their achievements could be dismissed as token. All completely understandable, but still – phooey!

Women worrying about tokenism need to remember that, over the years, structural sexism has given far more men far more opportunities to pursue and exploit unfair advantage. When there’s a rare attempt to redress the balance, the very last thing women should feel is guilty.

I dream of a scenario where a female board member gets some envious threatened male idiots grumbling about tokenism and she just smiles delightedly and says: “I know, great, isn’t it?”

Odds are, she’d still be some way from being as shameless as they’d be, given half the chance.

Source of the article: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/16/hungry-unwashed-children-fill-our-schools

Comparte este contenido:

The lack of change in education is frustrating

By Paul Watson

Eighteen years into the 21st Century we are still championing the need for educational change with little progress. The pace of such badly needed change is frustrating to say the least and to the detriment of students and indeed staff. Its time we got on with it!

For decades, if not longer, a variety of educational voices and hundreds of thousands of teachers across the globe have espoused time and time again that the industrial model of education needs significant change.

It is widely recognised this ‘one-size-fits-all model’ rarely meets the needs of the large majority of students.

This assembly line model has almost become mindless as students hop on the conveyor belt in Kindergarten and let it take them through to Year 12 where many just fall off when it stops, totally dejected or just thankful the ride is over.


Comparte este contenido:

Malasya: New international schools opens

Asia/Malaysia/09.07.18/Source: www.thestar.com.my.

WITH over 127 years of experience in the education field, Wesley Methodist School has opened a new campus in Penang.

“We congratulate the Council of Education of the Methodist Church in Malaysia on their choice of venue,” said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow at the opening ceremony of Wesley Methodist School Penang (International) at 1, Lebuh Sungai Pinang 1.

“From the old days, the Methodists have shared their rich tradition of holistic and quality education to Malaysian of all ethnicities.

“We hope this school will bring forth a vibrant and quality student body, life and culture”, he said on Friday.

Wesley Methodist School Penang (International) chairman Datuk Chin Lean Keat said the school aimed to offer affordable education to working families who are seeking private education for better teaching and learning.

There was also a signing ceremony between the school and Telekom Malaysia Berhad for Digital School Management System and Solutions.

Also present were Council of Education of the Methodist Church in Malaysia chairman Bishop Rev Dr Ong Hwai Teik and Wesley Methodist School Penang (International) Building Committee Task Force co-chairman Datuk Jerry Chan Fook Sing.

Source of the notice: https://www.thestar.com.my/metro/metro-news/2018/07/09/new-international-school-opens-campus-aims-to-provide-affordable-private-education/

Comparte este contenido: