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Japanese Teachers Rebel Against ‘Unlimited Work’

In one of the last entries in his journal, Japanese professor Yoshio Kudo lamented the working hours that start early in the morning and can last until almost midnight. Two months later, he suffered “karoshi”, death due to overwork. The grueling Kudo system is no different in Japan, where teachers have some of the longest working hours in the world, filled with tasks ranging from cleaning to managing school supplies to other activities.

A 2018 OECD study found that a high school teacher in Japan works 56 hours per week, compared to an average of 38 hours in most developed countries. But that number does not include the number of overtime hours.

A study by a think tank shows that teachers put in about 123 hours of work time per month, pushing their work past the so-called “karoshi line” of 80 hours. Teachers say they are reaching a limit and some are rebelling against this tradition through the law. Earlier this year, Japan’s ruling party appointed a task force to investigate the issue. For Kudo, it comes early. This college professor died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 2007, when he was only 40 years old. During his funeral, his shocked students told his wife Sachiko that the powerful PE teacher was “the furthest from death”.

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“She loves working with children,” Sachiko, 55, told AFP.

But in his last week, he suffered in those days. “Finally, he told me that teachers will stop working like that and that he wants to lead this change in the future”, says the widow.

“Goodbye Weekend”

The Japanese authorities have ordered improvements such as the outsourcing and digitization of certain services. “Our plan to change the working conditions of teachers is making progress,” Education Minister Keiko Nagaoka told parliament in October 카지노사이트 주소.

He acknowledged that many “continue to work for a long time” and that “these efforts need to be scaled up quickly”.

The data of the ministry shows a gradual decrease in the transit time, but the experts did not see a significant change. From collecting books to distributing food, cleaning or taking care of transporting children to school, Japanese teachers “have become kind of slaves to everything,” said school management consultant Masatoshi Senoo.

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“What should really be the responsibility of parents is that of teachers, who can even be sent to apologize to neighbors when students misbehave in parks or shopping malls,” he said. explains. One of the most tedious tasks is to supervise the sports and cultural activities of the students’ school, which are usually organized after school or on weekends.

Takeshi Nishimoto, a history teacher at a high school in Osaka, says: “Being a supervisor for one of these clubs often means saying goodbye to your weekend. In June, the 34-year-old teacher won a lawsuit seeking compensation for overworked stress.

He complained when he came close to suffering a panic attack in 2017 when he was a rugby club manager and worked 144 hours of work in one month. – “Holy work” –
Experts say it’s difficult for teachers to overwork because of decades-old laws that prevent them from taking overtime.

In return, the law adds payment of eight hours a month to their salary, a system that, according to Nishimoto, makes teachers work without limits for a fixed payment together.

Masako Shimonomura, a fitness instructor in Tokyo, said it was difficult to truly rest on those days. “It’s not all black in this job, however,” he adds.

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“There are moments I live for, like seeing the students in my football club light up and smile at matches,” said the 56-year-old, who worries that -forces young people an unimaginable image. A 2016 Mainichi Journal investigation revealed that over the past decade, 63 teacher deaths were attributed to overwork.

But it took five years before Kudo’s death to get “karoshi” in public as the cause of her husband’s death. For him, teaching is considered a “sacred duty” dedicated to children, and attitudes are considered a waste of time rather than selfish.

“Many teachers are too proud to live their lives without stopping to enjoy the growth of their own children,” says the woman, a former teacher who leads an anti-karoshi group. “I feel like my husband and I are working together to follow his last words: that he wants to change the work habits of teachers.”