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May 26, 2005

Half of Parents Support Sogogakushu

Just under 50% of parents of elementary and junior high school students are in favor of "sogogakushu" or comprehensive studies policy introduced in 2002, according to a survey carried out by the national PTA organization. 8.1% of parents said they thought the system was excellent, while 40.2% thought it was good. In contrast those who think the system is very bad accounted for just 1.8%, and 8.6% said it was not very good. 38.6% said they had no comment either way. Meanwhile, about 40% of parents are against the five-day school week. The principal objection to the reduced school week was that it adversely affects academic standards, while the main reason for those in favor was that students have more time with family. Under the policy, schools set aside about 3 hours per week for studies that are not part of the national curriculum and do not use official textbooks. Subjects such as English conversation fall into this category.

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