The Japanese government will cooperate with local governments to further improve the teaching system at public elementary schools in Japan, education minister Koichi Hagiuda said this week.
Hagiuda and other government officials met with representatives from local governments, including the National Governors’ Association, to discuss elementary school education following the enactment in March of legislation to reduce the maximum number of students per class at public elementary schools from 40 to 35 in stages by fiscal 2025. The law came into force in April.
In order to further improve the teaching system at schools, the central and local governments will share related problems and cooperate to consider ways to tackle them, Hagiuda told the meeting’s attendees.
Under the revised compulsory education standards law, the maximum class size was reduced for the second grade in fiscal 2021, which started in April. The class size for the first grade had already been reduced to 35 students.
In order to realize the plan, Japan needs to find a way to secure enough teachers.
The discussions were mostly held behind closed doors.
According to the education ministry, the governors’ association voiced hopes of lowering the maximum number of students per class to 35 at public junior high schools in the future.
Participants also discussed the current situation in teacher placements and ways to secure high-quality teachers.
The central government plans to hold such meetings irregularly to discuss the efficacy of downsized classes and classroom arrangements suitable for classes with up to 35 students.
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