GIFU -- The Gifu Municipal Board of Education is considering completely closing all 69 of the city's municipal elementary, junior high and special needs schools for 16 straight days from Aug. 4 to 19 during the summer vacation, it has been learned.
Officials hope the measure, which would be introduced on a trial basis, would make it easier for teachers to take long holidays and would reduce their workloads, as they would not have to be at school during the period.
Club activities and supplementary lessons would be not prohibited during this time, but the education board will recommend that teachers refrain from such activities if possible. Until last year, teachers had rotated on day duty from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on weekdays during the summer vacation.
"We want to prompt a change in the way of thinking among teachers, including those in managerial positions, over the way they work," a municipal education board representative said.
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in December 2017 released an urgent plan urging schools to completely close for a set period mainly during the summer vacation. The Gifu Municipal Board of Education's plan came in response to this request.
Since 2013, the city of Yokohama has prompted elementary and junior high schools to completely close for 14 straight days during the summer vacation. In the 2013 academic year, just 12 percent of the schools did so, but in the 2017 academic year the figure rose to 93 percent.