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December 16, 2004

School Hours May be Upped

The education ministry is considering a reversal in its almost 30-year policy of reducing the number of classroom hours. Due to recent studies that indicate falling academic standards in Japan, the ministry sees the need for a change of tack. While it has yet to decide how to tackle the problem, there are plans to ask the Central Education Council early next year to look at ways of increasing the average number of classroom hours from the current 5,367 during elementary school and 2,940 during the three years of junior high school. Options include specifying a minimum rather than an average number, or encouraging schools to ensure that students spend more time in the classroom.

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