National / Social Issues

Japan set to spend ¥1.5 trillion on elementary and junior high school teachers in fiscal 2019

JIJI

The education ministry plans to include ¥1.52 trillion in its budget for fiscal 2019 to cover personnel costs for teachers at public elementary and junior high schools, it has been learned.

The sum for fiscal 2019, which starts next April, is down ¥2.7 billion from the previous year, reflecting a fall in the number of schoolchildren and a decline in salary costs due to an increasing number of younger teachers.

In an effort to promote work-style reform for teachers, the ministry aims to secure sufficient instructors for English classes at elementary schools. English is expected to become an official subject for fifth- and sixth-graders under a new curriculum to be adopted from fiscal 2020.

As part of the reforms, the ministry will spend ¥13.5 billion to hire more outside staff at schools. It will also boost the number of instructors supporting club activities by 4,500 to 9,000 and that of staff members helping teachers to prepare classes by 600 to 3,600.

The ministry’s budget plan will also include ¥300 million in spending on a model project in which high schools operate as the center of local revitalization programs and another ¥300 million on an experimental research program in which advanced technologies are incorporated into school education.

In a planned fiscal 2018 second supplementary budget, the ministry’s spending is expected to total ¥266 billion, including ¥138.2 billion to promote innovative technologies.

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