More than 70 percent of elementary and junior high school teachers are unhappy with a new system for evaluating student academic achievements, according to an education ministry survey released Wednesday.

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry picked 100 elementary schools and 70 junior high schools at random and sent questionnaires to their teachers in June, to which 1,148 elementary school teachers and 863 junior high teachers responded.

The system, which uses “absolute criteria” for evaluations instead of relative rankings of student academic achievements, was introduced in April 2002. It gives more weight to teachers’ evaluations of individual students, including such factors as attitude toward learning.

According to the survey, 70 percent of elementary school teachers and 79 percent of junior high school teachers complained that the criteria for grading is cumbersome and complicated, and that they barely have time now for other tasks, including preparing for class or having discussions with students.

However, 66 percent of the elementary school teachers and 62 percent of the junior high teachers also said they are now able to look closely into each student’s performance.

Asked whether the system has made it possible for teachers to evaluate students in a way that increases their desire to learn, 42 percent of elementary school teachers and 40 percent of junior high teachers said it has, while 42 percent of elementary school teachers and 46 percent of junior high school teachers felt otherwise.

The evaluations at the junior high level are counted as admissions criteria for high school, but 76 percent of the junior high teachers said the new system is not compatible with current admissions realities.

The “absolute criteria” involves evaluating students from four perspectives, including understanding of academic disciplines.

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