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Japan to abolish 'burdensome' teaching license renewal system

In this file photo, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology is seen in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward. (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- Japan's system that sets a 10-year expiration date for teaching licenses and makes it mandatory for teachers to attend training sessions when they renew them is set to be abolished, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Koichi Hagiuda said on Aug. 23.

    The teaching license renewal system was introduced in the academic year of 2009 in a bid to enhance teachers' talent by having them acquire knowledge in keeping with each changing era. However, a number of issues had been raised, including the large burden on teachers who take the training sessions on Saturdays and Sundays, or during summer break, outside their regular hours of work. Other issues included difficulties in quickly finding substitute teachers in the event of there being staff on maternity or child care leave as there have been many cases where teaching licenses were suspended after individuals neglected to renew them.

    The decision to abolish the system was finalized on Aug. 23 after a subcommittee of the Central Council for Education indicated the intent to demand the system's effective termination on the same day, "for the sake of reform."

    (Japanese original by Akira Okubo, Tokyo City News Department)

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