Illicitly hired Oita teachers to be fired

Kyodo

The Oita Prefecture board of education said Wednesday it will fire teachers confirmed to have passed the recruitment test through illegitimate manipulation of exam results.

It also said it will employ as teachers those who failed the exams due to the manipulation, if they so wish.

The decisions came after the arrest of five public education officials for alleged bribery in connection with teacher recruitment exams at public schools in 2006 and 2007.

According to police, it is believed 40 people — half the successful applicants — passed the exams illegitimately.

In 2007 alone, some 10 people failed the recruitment test due to the manipulation.

The board of education will check whether principals and vice principals were promoted in illegitimate ways and punish them if this is the case.

“I expect all of you to pool your capabilities in order to retain public trust,” Fuminori Koya, a superintendent at the Oita prefectural board of education, told about 200 board officials.

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry has ordered all prefectural boards of education to determine whether similar misdeeds have occurred, Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said.

The ministry will report on a nationwide probe as early as the end of the month, he said.

Referring to the actions planned by Oita education authorities, Machimura said, “I think the decision is good as they have to employ drastic measures” to regain confidence in teachers and education.