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Thank you for the editorial “Teachers leaving jobs,” but I am afraid you are missing the elephant in the room: student numbers.

As the parent of a child in the third grade, it is shocking to learn that the powers-that-be in education feel that more students crammed into a class is better. In 2009, my son was to enter a first-grade class of 39 students. When I heard this, I decided to look around and found another school with only nine students in a class. The reason there were only nine students was that the school was scheduled to be shut down in 2011, which it was.

Still, my husband and I thought the smaller class size was better for our son. I tried unsuccessfully to get the school to stay open with, say, 24 students in one class and 24 in another. I was told that it was not economically feasible and that having up to 40 students in a class was legal.

It was no surprise to learn later that the new teacher in charge of the 39 students went on medical leave because of classroom “breakdown” and that a veteran teacher was called in to deal with the unruly class.

Public schools have some very dedicated teachers, but forcing 40 students into a tight space and telling them to learn is quite ridiculous. When my son is older and I can afford it, I will surely put him in a private school with a smaller class size.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

kazumi kusanagi

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