The government will increase its employment quota for teachers at public elementary and junior high schools by 1,726 in fiscal 2020.

The measure, included in the fiscal 2020 budget that was approved Friday, is designed to promote work-style reforms for teachers and better respond to changes in curriculum guidelines.

The value of subsidies intended to partly finance teachers’ salaries will grow by ¥2.1 billion from the previous year to ¥1.52 trillion, its first increase in 12 years.

The budget includes ¥488.2 billion for financial assistance to low-income households, to ease the burden of expenses for higher education, starting in April.

Public university students from households with annual incomes of less than ¥3.8 million will be able to receive support of up to ¥280,000 for entrance fees and ¥540,000 for annual tuition fees. Private university students will be able to receive up to ¥260,000 for entrance fees and ¥700,000 for tuition fees.

The government will use ¥5.3 billion to support students from middle-income households, as some of them are set to be exempt from the new assistance program.

The budget also included strengthened financial assistance to partly cover tuition fees for private high school students.

Up to ¥396,000 in subsidies will be provided to private high school students from households with annual incomes of less than ¥5.9 million, starting in fiscal 2020. Currently, subsidies ranging from ¥178,200 to ¥297,000 are given to students, depending on the annual income of the households.

The government has also allocated ¥1.4 billion for a new unified university entrance examination system set to start in fiscal 2020.

As part of expenditures on the new system, the education ministry initially sought outlays of some ¥800 million for private-sector English tests and some ¥2 billion for open-ended questions for Japanese and mathematics subjects. But the budget does not include that spending because the ministry has dropped its plans to introduce the two measures.

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