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November 27, 2003

Students to Grade Teacher Candidates

A newly created deregulation zone is to allow students to take part in the teacher hiring process. The central government recently approved plans by the city of Gyoda in Saitama Prefecture to reduce first and second year elementary school and first year junior high school classes to a maximum of 30 students. The plan will require the hiring of more teachers, a process that will take two stages. The second stage, scheduled for next February, will involve an interview and giving a mock lesson to students. One male and one female student, in addition to the principal and an education board member, will then grade the teachers on ease of understanding and other factors. The city's board of education say they plan to hire 13 elementary and 7 junior high school teachers on a one-year contract. But unlike other contract teachers, they will be "homeroom teachers," and have responsibilty for a class.

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