More than half the elementary and junior high school teachers responding to a poll disfavor new guidelines introduced last April by the education ministry, saying the reduced curriculum is lowering children’s academic abilities, according to a survey by Kyodo News.

In the survey of 100 teachers, 58 said the new guidelines should be reviewed immediately, while 13 said they are satisfied with them.

The survey was mailed ahead of a Japan Teachers Union national meeting on educational research that started in Nara Prefecture on Saturday.

Among the teachers against the new guidelines, there were numerous responses indicating that students now tend to show less interest in classes and their academic abilities are declining.

Although 76 teachers said they are supportive of the five-day school week also introduced last April, many complained it has put more of a burden on both teachers and students, contrary to the original intent.

Sixty-four teachers said their working hours on weekdays are longer than before and they have a heavier burden.

Forty-three said a five-day school week created more pressure on students, as their curricula are crammed on weekdays.

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