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April 22, 2003

Kids Happy With 5-day Week

A recent education ministry survey indicates that the majority of students at public schools are happy to have Saturdays off. In the survey of 75,000 students between third and tenth grade, more than 70% thought the 5-day week -- intoduced last spring -- was "good" or "fairly good." The number of students playing outside or taking part in extra-curricular activities showed a marked increase compared to a similar survey in 2001.While more than 60% said they spent more time with their parents, a similar number also said they spent more time watching TV or playing video games.

Less happy are teachers, judging from the number who are quitting. The Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education announced that 35 of the 1,588 new teachers hired last spring had already quit by the end of the school year, a sharp increase over the previous year.

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