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October 05, 2004

Osaka Teachers to Switch to Merit Pay

The Osaka prefectural education board announced on Monday that all teachers at prefectural schools will be paid base on a merit system from the 2006 fiscal year (which coincides with the academic year, starting in April). Starting this year, teachers will be evaluated by principals on a 5-level scale, looking at such things as whether teachers are following a pre-planned curriculum. From 2006, salaries will be based on the previous year's evaluation. Currently teachers are paid based on a scale and can look forward to regular and largely uniform annual increases, assuming they avoid censure or prolonged absences. The board said the move is aimed to "improve the motivation and quality of teachers." The new system is expected to meet opposition from the teachers' union, which says that their will be many random evaluations and no appeal system is planned for teachers. Osaka will be the second municipality to introduce the system, following Tokyo in 2000.

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