HITACHINAKA, Ibaraki Pref. (Kyodo) The Japan Teachers Union said Saturday at the opening of its annual seminar that elementary school teachers need time to prepare ahead of the start of the new school year in April, which will see the introduction of English classes and revised textbooks with increased material.

“Time needs to be fully secured (for teachers) to study teaching materials and prepare themselves,” union President Yuzuru Nakamura said in an address to some 10,000 teachers from across Japan at the three-day seminar.

Under the education ministry’s new curriculum guidelines, elementary schools will use textbooks with increased study content and start English classes as a required course for fifth and sixth graders.

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