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Tuesday, 23rd April 2013
In General Japan News,

Japan calls for six day school week

The majority of Japanese citizens support the idea of reintroducing a six day school week, according to a survey conducted by Yomiuri Shimbun.

The study revealed that an overwhelming 79 per cent of those questioned believed school children should take classes six days a week at least once a month.

Just under half of respondents - 41 per cent - said they believed that Saturday classes should be held on a weekly basis, while 38 per cent suggested they are held at least once or twice per month.

It seems that the Japanese population holds ethics in high regard too, as some 84 per cent of participants said that it should be made an official subject in the country's schools.

A six-day week was phased out in Japan between 1992 and 2002, but in January 2013 the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology suggested that Saturday classes may be re-introduced.

Currently teachers at Japanese schools are required to work a maximum 40 hour week.

Japan Today reported that the ministry is hoping that introducing a six day school week will help to improve educational standards across the country.

The publication also stated that the ministry hopes re-introducing a six day week may help to alleviate concerns over a perceived gap in educational standards between public and private schools.

Some 12 prefectures across Japan are already trialling a six day week at some schools in the various regions.

Tokyo, Tochigi, Saitama, Kanagawa, Kyoto, Osaka, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Fukuoka, Saga and Kumamoto prefectures all have schools which expect pupils to attend classes on six days during the week. The majority of educational establishments in these districts conform to a five day week however.

Prime Minister Abe recently set out reforms to Japanese education which aim to achieve 35,000 doctorates in English among the population.

He has suggested that those wanting to reach higher education should have at least achieved the Test of English as a Foreign Language.

Written by Susan Ballion