The education ministry is considering abolishing the requirement that teaching licenses be renewed every 10 years in an effort to ease burdens on teachers, sources said Sunday.

The country introduced the current 10-year renewal rules in April 2009 to improve the quality of teachers.

Teachers who want to renew their licenses need to attend at least 30 hours of lectures over a two-year period to make sure they are up to date on the government’s education policies.

But the requirements have drawn complaints from teachers because they need to apply for lectures by themselves. There have been cases whereby teachers have forgotten to renew their licenses.

In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic makes it difficult for teachers to take lectures in some areas.

In March, education minister Koichi Hagiuda asked the Central Council for Education, an advisory panel, to review the license renewal rules to ease burdens on teachers.

The ministry plans to ask the council shortly to discuss the idea of scrapping the rules. After getting recommendations from the panel, the ministry will submit law revisions to the Diet next year.

It is considering introducing a new training program for teachers in exchange for scrapping the license renewal rules. The program is expected to cover online teaching, digital textbooks and care for children with developmental disabilities.

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